SUBJECT :Ban on Plastic Bags 

 The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Chandigarh Administration to ban the use of plastic bags, glasses and plates. Chandigarh Tribune asked its readers what needs to be done to ensure strict implementation of the ban in the city 

If we want to give clean environment to future generations, the authorities must impose the fine recommended by the NGT  on the sale and use of plastic bags, glasses and plates .

OP Longia,Chandigarh

Stop production

To nip the evil in the bud, the solution lies in stopping the manufacturing of plastic bags instead of forcing shopkeepers to stop its use. Manufacturers should be advised to produce only that quality of bags, which can be destroyed.

Ujagar Singh,Chandigarh

A good decision

It is good that the UT Administration has banned the use of plastic bags, glasses and plates in the city. But these items are used by shopkeepers and hoteliers as disposable items because they are easily available in the market. The government should instead ban the production of these items.

RK Kapoor,Chandigarh

Impose heavy fine

It is impossible to completely ban plastic bags. Though these were banned in Chandigarh a long time ago yet their use could not be checked. Their use is rampant in every kisan mandi. Until a heavy fine is imposed, people will not shun the use of plastic bags.

Wg Cdr DPS Bajwa (retd), Chandigarh

Introduce bag charges

The Chandigarh Administration should introduce bag charges with an aim of cutting the number of plastic bags taken at shops. It may result in the reduction of plastic bags. A complete ban can get support of people but will hardly achieve any significant result.

Ramesh Kumar Arora, Chandigarh

Provide non-toxic bags at cheaper rates 

The Administration should provide non-toxic bags at cheaper rates, especially to vegetable vendors in apni mandis as their profit margin is less. People should be encouraged to carry their own bags while shopping.    

Col Balbir Singh (retd), Chandigarh

People will be hit

The  ban will hurt consumers.  Shopkeepers won’t give bags made from other material for free. It is not the use of plastic bags but their disposal, which is a big problem. Instead of banning plastic bags, the authorities should penalise residents for not disposing plastic bags in a proper way.

MPS Chadha,Mohali

Lack of action on part of authorities

The UT Administration knows about the shops selling the plastic material but no action has been initiated  against the culprits. There is hardly any conviction under the law, encouraging the defaulters to carry on with their business.  The amount of fine should be enhanced. The factories manufacturing plastic products may also be identified, fined or closed.  

Wg Cdr Jasbir Singh Minhas (retd), Mohali

Decide date for imposition of ban

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has rightly banned the use of plastic bags, glasses and plates. The Administration should decide a date for the enforcement of the ban and publicise it. After that date, defaulters should be penalised strictly. Even the people carrying plastic bags should be fined. Raids should also be conducted to ensure that plastic glasses and plates are not used in functions.

Balbir Singh Batra, Mohali

Official apathy to blame

Officials should be blamed for failing to strictly implement the ban on polythene bags as these are used with impunity. Though a ban was imposed on the use of polythene bags below 40 microns in Chandigarh a year ago, it has not been implemented effectively. As plastic bags are non-biodegradable, these choke drains, thereby posing a serious problem to the environment.   

Sachin Sharma,Chandigarh

Comprehensive ban needed

The orders of the National Green Tribunal against the blatant sale and use of plastic bags, glasses and plates in Chandigarh should be taken seriously by the Administration. There should be a comprehensive ban on the manufacturing, trading, storing and end use of these plastic products. 

Bhupinder S Sealopal, Mohali

Impose heavy fine on stockists, distributors

The ban should start with manufacturing units. Licence should not be provided by the authorities for the production of plastic bags, glasses and plates. A heavy penalty should be imposed on distributors and   stockists.

Kamalpreet Kaur,Mohali

Coordination between  govt depts must 

Plastic bags hamper the processing of garbage and result in waterlogging during monsoon.  To enforce the ban, we need coordination between the pollution control board, MC, environment department and the city administration. People should learn shopping without plastic bags.

Sandeep Kumar,Chandigarh

Advertise NGT orders

Officials should wake up from their slumber and apprise people of using plastic bags, glasses, plates in their day-to-day affairs. The orders of the National Green Tribunal should be put on display at prominent places in the city.

Nikita Kapur,Chandigarh

Plastic products freely available in markets

Though in 2008 the Chandigarh Administration had imposed a complete ban on the use of polythene,  plastic products such as cups and etc  are freely  available in the market because of  the lackadaisical approach of the Administration.  

SK Khosla,Chandigarh

Solution lies in orders’ implementation 

The NGT orders are a welcome move. However, the solution to the problem lies in its implementation. The production of polythene should be stopped by cancelling licences of manufacturing units. Action should also be taken against traders for selling plastic bags.

Dr SS Bhatti,  Chandigarh

Punish violators

The sale and use of plastic bags is rampant due to the lack of action on the part of the Administration. To prevent the environmental degradation, the Administration must adopt the two-pronged strategy of punishing the violators by imposing a fine as well as seeking public cooperation.

Janeshwar Kumar Jain, Chandigarh

Will power needed

If the UT Administration can successfully ban the use of plastic bags in showrooms or malls then why not in local markets? The National Green Tribunal rightly slammed the Administration for their carelessness. A heavy penalty can’t help much until officials take the ban seriously.

Gagandeep Jassowal,Chandigarh

Form panels or inspection teams to curb use 

The Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC) in coordination with other departments should ensure the strict implementation of the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). On the other hand, the Chandigarh Administration and the Municipal Corporation should constitute special committees and inspection teams for the strict enforcement of the ban on the use and supply of plastic bags, plates or glasses.  

Hardeep Singh Slaich, Mohali


Ensure participation of residents for results
Rajmeet Singh*

THOUGH the city is vying for the smart city tag, it does no action plan to deal with the rampant use of plastic bags. The recent orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), directing the UT Administration to curb the use of plastic items such as bags, glasses and plates have once again reminded the authorities to do the needful. 

Though the authorities have been carrying out drives to check the use of plastic bags, the tribunal orders have highlighted their failure in properly implementing the six-year-old ban.

 The Central Pollution Control Board data reveal that the city generates around 6,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year. Littering of plastic bags at public places is a common sight.

Still, the use of the banned plastic items by shopkeepers attracts a penalty of Rs 500 though the authorities have increased the fine to Rs 5,000. 

No concrete effort is being made to check the inflow of plastic bags from neighbouring states. Himachal Pradesh had effectively banned the use of plastic bags in 2003. 

There is a need to adopt a multi-pronged approach to deal with the problem. While imposing the ban, it is important to provide alternatives to traders besides creating awareness among consumers about the harmful use of plastic products. Without the participation of the masses, the ban will remain ineffective. 

*The writer is Chief  City Reporter