Hefty fines have been proposed for non-recyclable plastic users under new bylaws drafted for controlling plastic waste in Delhi, which are expected to be notified by next week, Principal Secretary of Urban Development Manisha Saxena has said.
Fines ranging from Rs 50,000 for bulk users to Rs 2,000 for smaller businesses have been recommended in the new laws. Consumers found accepting single-use plastic products could also be fined.
This comes a month ahead of six single-use plastic products — including bags, cups and straws — being reportedly banned across the nation on October 2.
“We have sent the draft to the law department for vetting. We are hoping to notify it by next week… We have asked local bodies to stay ready and would be running an awareness campaign as well,” Saxena said.
An environment official said single-use plastic products would be identified under the bylaws and penalties imposed on those found using them.
Local bodies and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee would be executing the laws, with the environment department acting as a regulatory body, the official said.
“These are products that are unnecessary and everyday work can continue without them as well. They would be phased out as a ban would be imposed on them the same day the bylaws are notified,” the environment official said.
As per the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016, local bodies were to seek assistance of producers that use plastic and set up a management system within one year from March. Local bodies were also to frame bylaws incorporating the provision for these rules.
“Other states already have such bylaws in place and are imposing fines. In Delhi, it has faced a severe delay due to some reasons,” the environment official said.
“The rules are very comprehensive and clearly define the responsibility of each person and authority with regard to penal provision,” the official said.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board’s estimates, the city produced more than 2.30 lakh tons of plastic in 2016-17. This includes single-use, or disposable, plastic waste which often cannot be recycled and ends up choking landfill sites in the city.
In 2017, the National Green Tribunal had banned plastic bags of less than 50 microns and disposable plastic across Delhi.