Rajasthan bans use of plastic bags

India’s largest state has become the latest to announce a complete ban on the use of plastic bags this week, according to The Hindu.

From the beginning of August the manufacture, storage, import, sale and transport of plastic carry-bags will be illegal in Rajasthan.

No shopkeeper, retailer, trader, hawker or vendor will be allowed to supply goods to consumers in bags.

The ban has been imposed in view of short-term and long-term environmental hazards posed by the material used in the bags, according to a release from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MEF).

However, polythene and plastics used for ferrying food and consumable goods like milk and to develop saplings of hybrid and nursery plants will be excluded.

The measure was first proposed in May after local municipal corporations had complained of blocked sewer lines, drainage systems and water distribution pipelines due to plastics buried in the soil, providing breeding grounds for malaria and dengue fever.

In Mumbai in 2005 India experienced massive monsoon flooding partially as a result of drains blocked by plastic bags, resulting in over 1000 deaths.

Similar flooding happened in 1988 and 1998 in Bangladesh, which led to the banning of plastic bags in 2002.

Cows – sacred in India – frequently asphyxiate after trying to eat the bags.

Any infringement of the notification could result in five years imprisonment or a fine up to Rs100,000 (£1,372) or both. Recurrence of the offence may lead to a penalty of Rs5,000 (£68) a day.

The provinces of Kerala, Sikkim, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra all have bans on plastic bags in place but so far they have proved difficult to police. Delhi also introduced a ban last year.

No statistics have been compiled on the numbers of plastic bags used in India though recycling rates for bags are known to be less than one per cent, according to the MEF.


1 Response to Rajasthan bans use of plastic bags

  1. Manish

    If plastic is banned what is the substitute….paper bags which will in turn effect tree cutting….which is also bad.

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