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Plastic bags plague Delhi despite citywide ban


Delhi is a city awash in discarded plastic bags despite a citywide ban that is supposed to prevent shopkeepers from using them.

Sumit Kumar Singh reports for the New Indian Express that India’s capital generates 690 tons of plastic waste daily — yet only about 40 percent is recycled.

The rest ends up in landfills, the Yamuna River, on the ground and in the soil. Plastic is responsible for clogging drains and streams, harming vegetation and polluting water supplies. “Floating plastic waste, as found in the Yamuna, can survive for thousands of years in water, transports alien invasive species, disrupting habitats,” the article warns.

Some of the city’s plastic is burned, releasing dangerous toxins. Despite a 2012 ban on manufacturing, selling or distributing plastic bags — with a few exceptions — no shopkeepers have been fined. As a result, there’s a booming trade in illegal recycling of banned plastic items, Singh notes. Meanwhile, Delhi already struggles with a severe trash crisis as landfills overflow. 

New Indian Express

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