No proposal to ban manufacture, use of plastic bags: Govt

There is no proposal to ban manufacture and use of plastic bags, but government is open to the idea of having a legislation to end use of such materials, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday.

New Delhi: There is no proposal to ban manufacture and use of plastic bags, but government is open to the idea of having a legislation to end use of such materials, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday.

"The government has no proposal to ban manufacture and use of plastic bags in the country. However, the manufacture, sale, stocking and use of plastic carry bags of less than 40 micron in thickness is prohibited," Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said.

He, however, agreed to a suggestion by Sharad Yadav (JD-U) for bringing in a legislation to put an end to use of plastic bags.

"It's a good suggestion and we will take it into consideration," he said, replying to Yadav.

The JD-U leader suggested that use of plastic bags should be dealt with strictly and if required units manufacturing such bags should be closed down.

Rijiju admitted that lack of provisions to stop manufacturing of plastic bags was also coming in the way of putting a check on their use.

He said government was promoting the use of alternative materials such as jute and paper bags.

Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena) suggested that though plastic industry generates huge employment and business turnover, usage of bags made out of such material should be banned.

The environmental impact of plastic waste has been examined by various committees in the past. The reports of such committees indicate that plastic bags, if not collected systematically, choke drains and create unhygienic conditions and deteriorate soil quality, Rijiju said.

Municipal authorities are authorised to collect, transport and dispose of plastic waste.

"The states of Sikkim, Nagaland, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshwadeep and Chandigarh have banned use of carry bags in their states," Rijiju said.  

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