Carrying or selling plastic bags may soon invite trouble for both customers and shopkeepers as the administration has decided to impose a blanket ban on its use. From the coming month,the administration would penalise those violating rules.
In February,the state government had imposed a blanket ban on the use of plastic bags and polythenes made of recycled plastic with a thickness of less than 40 microns and size less than 12×18 inches across the state. However,it has not been effective as people openly flout rules.
We want to curb this practice and since it is a rule,it has to be followed. Earlier,we had issued challans to shopkeepers in various shopping centres in the township. We will levy a fine of Rs 500 for first time offenders and repeated violators would be dealt with more strictly, said Ashima Garg,deputy commissioner. Sources in the administration said the fine for repeated offence could go up to Rs 1,000 and may also lead to cancellation of their trade licence.
Those found littering public places with plastic bags would be fined between Rs 250 and Rs 500.
The administration has also decided to launch an awareness campaign before it brings into force the ban completely. Teams have been formed to visit the market places and apprise shopkeepers about the ban. Vegetable vendors and those selling milk and other products would also be fined if they use plastic bags.
We will give them time to do away with plastic bags. They will also be instructed to use paper or cloth bags and would be asked to encourage customers too to bring the same for shopping, she said.
She further added that a team of officials from the administration would conduct surprise raids in markets to ensure that the ban is followed completely.