Setting a standard for biodegradable plastic bags for the first time,the Central Pollution Control Board has laid down specifications for such bags in the Capital.
Now,these bags have to be compostable and prescribe to the Bureau of Indian Standard of IS/ISO 17088:2008 for them.
In a letter to the Department of Environment,the CPCB has specified the standards for biodegradable plastic bags. These bags are to be compostable,turning into compost when coming in contact with moisture and sunlight, a senior official from the Department of Environment said.
This means these bags will cause minimum damage to the environment and will be used as compost.
The bags will have to be 40 microns thick. All biodegradable bags are to be at least 40 microns thick,as a biodegradable plastic bag of 20 microns thickness is unable to hold heavy things, the official said.
The CPCB may set the same protocol for the rest of the country. This is a draft standard for the rest of the country and the CPCB has invited objections to this. The standards are set to be notified for the whole country soon, he said.
With no Indian standards in place for biodegradable plastic bags,the Delhi High Court had asked for the laying down of protocols after it banned plastic bags in major commercial areas last year
Now,traders across the city have given samples of bags made of non-woven poly-propylene,a synthetic type fibre,to the government,which will test them to see if they qualify as plastic or non-plastic.
Many biodegradable plastic bag manufacturers,who did not have a major presence in the city,have also approached the Delhi government for subsidies.
Meanwhile,the Department of Environment has written to the VAT Commissioner and Customs for exemptions for raw material and the import of machines to manufacture these bags.