India’s largest state, Rajasthan, has become the latest place to completely ban plastic bags.
The ban has been put in place due to “both the short-term and long-term environmental hazards” of plastic bags.
Some of the main reasons for the ban were that plastic bags blocking sewer lines, drainage systems and water distribution pipelines were increasing malaria and dengue fever in Rajasthan.
Additionally, partly as a result of plastic bags blocking drains in Mumbai in 2005, over 1000 people died in massive monsoon flooding there. The government would not like to see that happen again.
One more reason for the ban is that cows, which are sacred in India, often asphyxiate from trying to eat the bags.
“No shopkeeper, retailer, trader, hawker or vendor will be allowed to supply goods to consumers in these carry-bags” beginning August 1 in Rajasthan, according to The Hindu. The ban is also on “manufacture, storage, import, sale and transport of plastic carry-bags.”
The punishment for breaking this law is no small deal. It is imprisonment for five years or a fine of up to Rs100,000 ($2,146) or both. Additionally, repeat offenders can see a penalty of Rs5,000 ($107) a day.
Rajasthan, however, is not the first place in India to institute a plastic bag ban. And enforcement so far in other places hasn’t been so easy. “The provinces of Kerala, Sikkim, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra all have bans on plastic bags in place but so far they have proved difficult to police. Delhi also introduced a ban last year,” Tom Young of Business Green reports.
Hopefully, Rajasthan will be able to implement this new policy.
Photo Credit: Claude Renault ( Away) via flickr