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Issue 32
, 2011
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Punjab to impose ban on polythene

Veena Ahuja
Source: The Political And Business Daily, New Delhi, April 16, 2011, Date: , 2011

The Punjab Government today decided to strictly implement ‘The Punjab Plastic Bags (Manufacture, Usage and Disposal) Control Act’, prohibiting the manufacture, disposal and usage of polythene bags from virgin plastic of thickness not less than 30 micron and size not lessthan 8 X 12  inches and of a colour other than specified colour.

Official sources in the Punjab Government told that the Council of Ministers in a recent meeting had felt that after imposition of ban on polythene in New Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, there had been a substantial improvement in the environment. The Council of Minister felt that Punjab should also strictly implement the ban from 1st May 2011 in the larger public interest. Sources said that indiscriminate use of polythene was causing multiple problems in the society. The Local Bodies were complaining repeatedly regarding the blockage of sewerage system that was getting chocked with non biodegradable polythene.

The Animal Husbandry department had also been issuing warnings that lot of stray cattle were dying after consuming waste polythene less than 30 micron from the dumping pits. The Environment of the State was also getting polluted with the large scale usage of polythene. The fertility of soil of the agrarian state of Punjab was also getting affected with the indiscriminate disposal of polythene in an unscientific manner that was making the soil barren. Official sources told that all Deputy Commissioners, Local Bodies have been asked to implement this act strictly with effect from 1st May 2011. The Director Panchayat has been asked to issue instructions to all Panchayats and Zila Parishads for its implementation.

According to the Act no person would manufacture or carry bags from virgin plastic of thickness not less than 30 micron and size not less than 8 X 12 inches. Every manufacturer of polythene would print on each carry bag his name, address , registration number, size, thickness and nature of plastic from it is made and codification as per IS :14534 :1998. The Act specified that no person would throw in any drain, ventilation shaft, pipe and fitting connected with private or public drainage or at any public place or in any place open to public view any non-biodegradable garbage or plastic or biodegradable garbage in a non-biodegradable bag.

The violation of the act by the manufacturer, carrier, user or unauthorised disposal of the polythene would attract imprisonment up to three months.According to the Act non-biodegradable plastics have been listed as Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), High Density Polyethylene ( HDPE), Poly Vinyl Chlorine ( PVC ), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS), Polybutadiene Trephthalate (PBT), Acrilonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Acrylic.