The Delhi government, which does not intend to ban single-use plastic, is set to launch a mass awareness campaign Wednesday against use of plastic products including bottles, cutlery, while also gearing up to notify bylaws under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.
Urban local bodies and district magistrates are already carrying out extensive activities against plastic under the Centre’s “Swachhata Hi Seva” campaign since September 11, under which nearly 550 MT (metric tons) of plastic waste have been collected, as per official data.
In the Centre’s suggested list of activities to states and Union Territories, which were to be carried out under the campaign, a “complete ban on usage of any single-use plastic items (cutlery, water bottles, wrappers, containers etc) during any public event / festival” had also figured.
As part of the campaign, Metro train coaches and around 1,000 autos are being wrapped with messages against use of plastic, an official said. Display panels in public places, including Metro stations, will show messages against plastic as well.
“The three Delhi Haats are set to be declared plastic-free zones. Separate kiosks will be set up where eco-friendly alternatives will be distributed. Most importantly, we have nearly finalised the plastic rules’ bylaws after extensive discussions with stakeholders, including the civic bodies, which will pave the way towards the implementation of the plastic waste management rules, three years after they were notified,” a senior official said.
The bylaws will help civic bodies in making a framework for taking action against proliferation of plastic by imposing fines and penalties, while also categorising types of plastic.
“The bylaws will also lay down guidelines on recycling for domestic households and bulk users. It will also help corporations fix user charges for collection of plastic waste, like in case of solid waste,” an official said.
Currently, only plastic having thickness below 50 microns is banned in the capital. Many states, including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Odisha have enforced stringent laws against the use of plastic items. “Abrupt bans will not be as productive as proper awareness,” an official said.