The Environment Ministry has finally taken into consideration the growing waste menace in India, especially because of plastic. The central government intends to impose a fine on street vendors for selling their wares in plastic carry bags, which are harmful for the environment. It is among a slew of other stringent measures to tackle the issue.

Cleverly they have not ‘banned’ plastic bags, but allowed its existence with charges, which will be implied if the polythene packets, which are provided by the vendors are not environment friendly. So ultimately, either they will start supplying their items in newspaper bags or you may have to carry your own big shopper when you go out for grocery shopping.

The new draft also says that the rules which were only applied on municipal areas in 2011, will now cover 7,935 towns in the country as identified during census 2011 including outgrowths in urban areas and rural areas.

“Everyday 15,000 tonnes of such wastes are generated and it is increasing on a daily basis. Stray animals die because they consume 20 to 30 kilogram of plastic,” said Javadekar. The new draft states that urban local bodies (ULBs) will direct waste generator for segregating waste at source while it also can prescribe user fee to be charged to the generator.

It also asks ULBs to make provisions to levy spot fines for littering and provide easy access to rag pickers in waste collection. The salient features for the role of waste generator also states that it is liable to pay user fee and spot fee as prescribed by ULBs. It would also be mandatory to obtain authorisation by all Health Care Facilities, irrespective of generation of biomedical waste, as well as number of patients treated per month.

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