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Policies & Politics

Largest State in India Bans Plastic Bags

Rajasthan, India bans plastic bags

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.

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Photo Credit: Claude Renault ( Away) via flickr




20 comments
  1. Apoorva

    Hi this is a really great step by the Rajasthan Government. I am currently working on an initiative to ban the use of plastic bags in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. I would really like comments and feedback on how to go about this and take the message forward so that we can have a plastic free world…

  2. KRITHIKA

    Yesterday, I visited one grocery store (in bangalore) owned by a big business group.. One of those retail grocery shops.
    I was carrying 2 Jute bags, which the security guy initially didnt allow me to take inside the store for “SECURITY REASONS”. After much persuation, he obliged. At the billing counter, i requested the guy to put all items in the 2 Jute bags that i had got.. after 20 min of arguments & checking with floor manager etc.. he tells me..”Security wont allow… you will have to use plastic only”
    I didnt understand if the store had hired the security or security had hired the store !!!
    This particular grocery store locks the opening of the polybag (with a plastic stip)before finishing the billing..What is the need of locking the polythene bags.. Dont they trust their customers. And for that use one more piece of plastic !!!!!!!!!

    One enquiring with the Floor manager for allowing to use Jute bag, he tells me..” You take the plastic bag from here & transfer it to your jute bag once you are out of the shop” I told him..that that is still using a plastic bag… he said you can throw the bag in the dustbin outside the shop !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Today we are trying to reduce our carbon foot prints in small ways possible. I am not asking that grocery shop to leave poly bags & start providing Paper bags or jute bags. All i am saying is that if a customer is willing to shun the plastic bag, What is their problem ???????
    It is like you wont do anything to save the mother earth. And over that, you wont allow others to do it either.?

    For such a big business group (into retail – clothes, grocery, furnishing, electronics etc), i think they have some responsibility towards the environment. And if they still dont believe so, the least they can do is let other people carry out their responsibilities without any hinderance

  3. Laveesh

    This ban in rajasthan at an extent is very gud, but there seems a lack of knowledge about rules.. The ban is only on the carry bags.., but shopkeepers n consumers are being forced not to use packing polythenes too.. If it is so then our economy n daily life is gonna affect immensly..

  4. amit

    this is a great policy of rajasthan govt. to ban a plastic polythin bags. it create a lot of pollution and harmful diseases .

  5. writinginoxford

    That's great they are banning them. Plastic bags are really nothing but a product of laziness and poor planning. Is the fine listed for an individual using the bag or for someone who issues the bag? The fine seems a bit on the steep side for a user…and maybe they are just re-using an old bag.

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