FROM WEDNESDAY, anyone who is found using single-use plastic cannot just be imprisoned for five years but can also be fined Rs 5,000 at every instance. An event “Plastic-mukt Chandigarh” will also be launched on Wednesday from the Capitol Complex. Also, a couple of events are planned for the day. UT Administrator V P Singh Badnore will release a brochure on items that are banned.
Already the UT Administration has issued a notification regarding the same. No person, including shopkeeper, vendor, wholesaler or retailer, trader, hawker or rehriwala shall manufacture, store, import, sell, transport, supply or use the plastic or thermocol or styrofoam items from the date of issuance of notification except specific items which shall be banned after three months from the date of issuance of the notification.
What all is banned
* Single-use plastic cutlery: All such plates, cups, glasses, bowls, forks, knives, spoons, stirrer and straws, Thermocol/Styrofoam cutlery (plates, cups, glasses and bowls etc).
* Single-use plastic containers: dish, bowl, trays, glasses.
* Lids less than 250 microns used for packaging/covering of food/liquid items.
* Plastic (sold in the name of silver/aluminum) bag/pouch for packing food items.
* Drinking water sealed glasses and plastic mineral water pouch.
* Single-time use (use and throw) razors.
* Single-time use (use and throw) pens.
* Use of thermocol for decoration purpose.
* Use of plastic material for decoration purpose such as wrapping/packing sheets, frills, garland, confetti, party bloopers, plastic ribbons etc.
* Non-woven polypropylene bags and polythene/plastic carry bags with or without handle irrespective of size, shape and colour (excluding bags permissible under Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016) are banned with immediate effect.
Commissioner Municipal Corporation K K Yadav said that other than the UT Administration, their sanitary inspectors are also empowered to issue challans. Industrial packaging that shall be banned after 3 months from date of notification
Industrial packaging (of any kind) less than 50 microns, single-use plastic containers (used for curd, kheer, ice creams etc) less than 250 microns used for packaging of dairy items, plastic sachets with packaging capacity of 50 ml/50 gm and less.
* Plastic sticks for ear buds, balloons, flags and candies.
* Plastic refill pouch having quantity less than 500 ml.
* Straws attached with tetra packs.
* Multilayered packaging used for food/snacks packing.
What will happen to those who breach
According to the UT Administration, any person causing breach of the aforesaid prohibition will be liable for penalties as per the provision of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Under Section 15 of the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986, whoever fails to comply with the aforesaid orders, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years with fine which may extend to Rs 1 lakh, or with both.
Under Section 5 of the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986, any person causing breach of the aforesaid prohibition shall face/deal with the following circumstances: the closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry, operation or process; or stoppage or regulation of the supply of electricity or water or any other service.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in its order dated December 4, 2015, entitled as RD Anand Vs Chandigarh Union Territory Administration directed that any person who is found to be using, storing, purchasing, dealing with or distributing plastic bags, plastic plates or plastic glasses and such allied items shall be liable to pay environmental compensation at the rate of Rs 5,000 per event.
How will it be implemented
The Department of Environment is the nodal agency for it. Other than this, SDMs are empowered to issue the challans. The team will carry out inspection to look for violators.