New Delhi: Poly-bags below the set standard in thickness (120 micro gram) are in rampant use in the city. Mostly the small vendors are still using such poly-bags. They are also being used in weekly markets in different areas. They are having micron standard below 120 which is the set parameter for any such polybags.
Experts say that there are such polythene bags even not more than 20 micro gram which is extremely hazardous for living being and environment. “These polythene bags are just like a membrane and easily available at a cheaper rate for them,” says Madhukar Varhsney from Rise Foundation, an NGO working on the subject.
Vendors, when asked, said that they buy polythene bags from the mandi from where they buy vegetables. There is a regular supply by the polythene bag vendors at the market place on the same day. “Such poly-bags are hazardous to the environment as they are not easily recyclable. Its segregation is difficult. Hence it is often thrown out with garbage which later on eaten by the cattle. Such bags are of even 20 micron or below that,” says Madhukar.
According to the new rules, there’re certain ‘dos and don'ts’ for manufacturers, distributors and municipal bodies. The government banned the manufacturing of plastic bags of below 120 microns as thinner bags pose a major threat to environment due to its non-disposability. But, ironically use of the polythene bags below the set standard is rampant in the area.
According to the people working on environment, the administration is responsible for the practice of sale and purchase and also the use of such poly-bags in the markets. Diwan Singh, an eminent environment activist from Dwarka, says, “ In weekly markets one can see how openly such poly-bags are being used. Corporation knows this and also the Delhi Government officials know this. They are banned but are still in use in connivance with entire system.”
CitySpidey had a talk with the vendors in different weekly markets and got to know that they had no choice but to go for cheaper products like such thin poly-bags. A vendor at Sector 14 Dwarka weekly market says, “ I use half kilogram poly bags in every weekly market. Such bags are very thin and are light in weight. Hence we get more in numbers than the regular poly-bags. We don't want to use polythene, but we have no choice. If government enforces the law it will help us also in saving at least Rs 100 per weekly market.”
The irony is that such weekly markets and the small vendors on footpaths are under the jurisdiction of Municipal Corporation and the State Government both. But neither the State Government nor the Municipal Corporation seems serious on the subject.
One of the officials of Delhi Pollution Control Board said on the condition of anonymity, “According to the new Plastic Rules of the Government, 120 micron is the prescribed limit for production. We check production according to the rule. But in market we are not responsible to check the usages of such poly-bags having lower micron than the prescribed standard. This is the responsibility of Municipal Corporation.”
One of the officials from MCD, Najafgarh Zone says, “ We carry drives against such things always. People are also prosecuted as use of such poly-bags is banned. We will take the subject into concern and needful would be done in that direction at the weekly markets.”