The Ministry of Environment and Forests has notified the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011. As per these rules, manufacturing, stocking, distribution, sale on use of plastic carry bags of less than 40 micron in thickness is prohibited. These rules are uniformly applicable to the whole of the country. However, some States/ Union Territories have prescribed more stringent norms and also either completely or partially banned the use of plastic carry bags within their respective jurisdictions. This was stated by Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests, in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.
The Minister further stated that the State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution Control Committees in respect of Union Territories are the prescribed authorities for enforcement of provisions of these rules relating to registration, manufacture and recycling. The concerned Municipal Authorities are responsible for enforcement of provisions of these rules relating to the use, collection, segregation, transportation and disposal of plastic waste.
The Minister further stated that as per the information received from the Central Pollution Control Board and some State Pollution Control Boards/Pollution Control Committees of Union Territories, the plastic carry bags are still in use. Inspections are carried out by these agencies as per their jurisdiction to check compliance to these rules. In case of violations, necessary action is taken by the concerned agencies, the Minister added.