Plastic bags banned in Delhi ! Well done again Sheila Dixit

The state government in Mumbai had announced after the terrible floods caused mainly by the clogging of the drains by plastic bags, that they would ban plastic bags. But they had neither the will nor the guts to go through with the order. Now Sheila Dixit, the Chief Minister of Delhi has announced the same, and my bet it that despite all the court cases that will be thrown against her, the political pressures and the business lobbying – Sheila Dixit wil stand firm. She did the same when she turned all buses and other means of public transport to CNG gas. She stood firm through the strikes by bus operators, nd cases right upto supreme court. And today you can actually breathe in Delhi. There are lesser cases of asthama amongst children, and the levels of harmful pollutants in the air has come down,
I have seen the effects of not only plastic bags, but also plastic wrappers and empty plastic bottles on our environment in the hills. On a recent trip to Nainital and the surrounding hills, I saw streams, lakes, irrigation ditches all clogged with plastic – killing not only the environment but also causing flooding and killing off river fish.
Traveling in trains in India in my youth, hot milk and tea has very special taste. They were served in fragile earthenware pots. The tea and the milk took on the taste of the earth, and for me they have never tasted the same. Now even in the smallest towns tea is served in plastic cups that are not biodegradable and just go on to pollute our land.
Just one thing more m/s Dikshit – what about plastic wrapping that sell commercial products like Lays (terrible for the health of kids in any case) and pan masaala ? They represent almost 70% of the litter that pollutes our countryside

25 thoughts on “Plastic bags banned in Delhi ! Well done again Sheila Dixit

  1. FYI..Earthenware pots or kullars are equally dangerous to environment or even worse. Just go through this link:
    I’ll post the relevant parts for your convenience:
    o in archaeology, the first thing we find while digging is earthen pots and earthen ware given the fact that heated soil remains as it is for eternity.
    o kulhars are no better than plastic except that they are not synthetic.
    o Disposing off used kulhars may not be environment-friendly. Though plastic is a non-eco friendly material, kulhar is no saint either. Note that where plastic is the major driving force of lifethe Westtheres relatively little pollution compared to environments dominated by kulhar. Plastic doesnt pollute, it is our way of managing them that make plastic a hazard for the environment.
    Anyways, it’s fun reading your blogs. How do you get so much time to write blogs. The kind of movies that you make would require pretty good amount of non-stop effort. As it’s an art, every time you need to start anew.

  2. I AGREE. As a native of Delhi, I think Shiela Dixit deserves a Bharat Ratna for what she has done with Delhi. I was a student during the 90s and commuting in DTC buses in the pollution made me an asthama patient. I never had asthama as a kid, but once in college I would be in the hospital every year. My asthama only came under control after I went to the USA. Today, it is thanks to Shiela Dixit’s efforts that the air we breathe is clean. The city has got a face-lift. I know the BRT is a pain, but then some things go wrong everywhere.
    I must say I don’t only doff my hat at the lady in true Indian fashion I want to do a dandawat pranaam. More power to her and politicians of her ilk!
    Though there is one problem. If we ban plastics, how will we throw trash? The concept of a ‘jamadaar’ who would come and collect trash is extinct now. Usually households collect their trash in a plastic bag and have it thrown in the garbage dump, quite like in the US. Without plastics how will we circumvent that?
    Shekhar, a lot of Delhi’s lot today has the Supreme Court to thank. It was Supreme court that passed the order and deadline for Yamunna to be cleaned. It was SC who passed an order against polluting units in residential areas. Delhi saw it’s nadir in the 90s. It is in an upswing now. I think Bombay is seeing bad days now.
    Himanshu, very interesting insight into the khullar phenomenon. Though I have to confess, like Shekhar I too am nostalgic about the khullar wali chai we had while traveling India by train as kids. Remember those first class compartments? They were such fun. Air travel or even AC coaches take away the charm of train travel. Or maybe I am just being a typical nostalgic NRI 🙂

  3. this step (and many such steps eg. on wholesome living, eco-friendly technology, education etc etc) initiated many years back in india like light from a small town called auroville from am glad that it is happening in cities…after chandigarh now in delhi. good to see such things happening in mainstream lives:)

  4. ***Himanshu***
    Thank you for the insight!
    Education system has to instill these qualities of knowledge in the children, regarding children
    education/awareness the only solution to bring proper change
    now where we people have grown up, and are losuy and pathetic enuff to spread garbage of such order
    in parks, hill stations etc etc, there shud be boards and instructions as to carry their garbage back with them, OR
    make proper dustbins in intervals where they are instructed to throw garbage…believe me it can work! We need to be tamed and instructed or fined!
    the notice boards should be focused on children more, so that they feel a part of it and take pride and even make their parents change, their minds are not coated with undue fat like us!
    IF in a place like ‘Nepal’
    base camp places like ‘Gandruk’ in pokhra can make people follow such behaviour, where the villagers have been educated on these grounds more than the city folks, and they keep a firm eye on public
    and YES i have never seen a more beautiful, hazard free, pollution free place like this!
    To remind myself and others…
    Most travellers/trekers are from the west, they follow with much regard, but at the same time I noticed the few indians too took pride in doing the same.
    making tv commercials and making each indian feel proud and responsible, for bringing this change
    In one instance i even remember, in maldives, the guests so proudly took back garbage back with them in flights, so as to not to pollute this wonderful place, which may be history soon.
    why this behaviour difference between the west and the east?
    awareness, education system, pride, the manner in which each individual feels responsible, the manner in which gov listens to their needs and does act upon them, even if not in full force, a small change itself revolves a change in the people itself
    whew Im tired now

  5. About 20 years ago, in NainiTal, my parents decided to stop getting plastic bags home. And slowly enough people adopted it in the town to enforce a ban. However, as Himanshu states, the disposal of other waste too is what is at fault. It needs ot be recycled in the best way possible,.. However, every small step counts.

  6. One problem is there are no trash bins to be found when one needs them. So people end up littering everywhere. There should be many trash bins placed in public places to prevent the littering and clogging.
    Ofcourse, banning plastic bags is a good idea. A good next step would be to recycle plastic.

  7. Shekhar:
    Kullars are bad too. And expensive anyways – manufacturing, transporting, storing. I guess you are getting a little romantic with tea in earthen pots.
    How about paper cups instead of plastic? Simple?

  8. May be the next thing that needs attention is the hell like atmosphere around the railway lines in Delhi.

  9. May be the next thing that needs attention is the hell like atmosphere around the railway lines in Delhi.

  10. I Love your blog,
    Would like you to watch this in response to your article..
    I hope this will make u think…Its bit funny 🙂

  11. why we all want govt to enforce something on us. why we are not self discplined. remember those days when we used to carry our own cloth / jute bags to bring daily use items from markets, carry steel bowls / glasses to bring juice, curd, or other liquid items.
    my whole point to say here is that we wait for law to enforce certain conditions upon us. whereas, we ourselves can make reasonable efforts for reducing noise, air, water pollution by using lesser plastics, follow traffic rules, not spitting here and there, not throwing garbage, samagri (religious items) in river, stream, etc.
    who will teach those high class well educated people who litter around from running cars, at railway platforms, inside railway coaches.
    i feel self discipline is what we need to maintain. Delhi has banned plastics but not all other states of India.
    i request to the reader of this message to please self discipline yourself for reducing environment pollution. that is the best remedy.

  12. for your information ban on plastic bag is due to petitioner vinod jain case in delhi high court for four years but celebraties give credit to leaders,stars i hope you make correction and tell what you can do to get ban implemented vinod jain is from ngo tapas

  13. I read your blogs regularly , its Mr. Vinod Jain Founder Chairman of NGO TAPAS single handedly taking so many issues which effect all general peoples life in Delhi.
    Plastic Bag Ban is one of the major issue for our city which he takes all the way to the destination single handed w/o any other support in fact have to face so many crisis & problems from plastic lobby but he fought & won for us & DELHI.
    This is his moral fight but he won for all of us & now all the citizens, youth, shopkeepers, consumers are co-operating to get ban implemented not waiting for fine.
    Now Delhi carrying their own bags for shopping good old times to reduce garbage.
    Aksh Arora.

  14. one single person standing on a road (signal,or junction,mall etc..) everything is moving but without a human being there is no1 but everything is moving and the person is alone this a concept of the subject its awesome story if like please… +919820104017

  15. hello sir…its my first time commenting on ur article.i would say its an inspirational one for all those who are upto polluting our mother earth.

  16. The greenest thing about paper bags is the way people perceive them. Because they seem more natural, people think they’re better for the environment. Well, it’s a damn shame, but they’re wrong.
    “Paper or plastic?” is a question everyone in world has been asked at least once in their lifetimes. Many people have debated over what is better but economists have a very simple answer: plastic. Plastic bags are much more resource efficient. Plastic bags require much less energy than paper bags to manufacture. An average paper bag takes 2511 BTUs (British thermal units) to manufacture, while an average plastic bag takes only 591 BTUs (Roplast). This is mainly because it takes 1/8 of the material to make a plastic bag as it does to make a paper bag.
    Paper bags are made by heating wood chips in a chemical solution under pressure. These chemicals produce high amounts of air and water pollution. In fact paper bag production produces 70% more air pollution and 50 times more water pollution than plastic bag production.
    Disposing of paper bags is also inferior to plastic bags. The amount of waste by weight is 400% higher with paper than plastic and the amount of waste by volume is higher by more than 250%. These last two figures are of considerable importance if either bag ends up in a landfill. Landfills are running low on space and here plastic bags give much more bang for the buck. Even if we The energy required to recycle is 1444 BTUs for a typical paper bag while only 17 BTUs for a typical plastic bag. If the bags are not recycled but instead burned, plastic bags release almost as much energy as oil. Plastic bags release 19,900 BTUs compared to oil’s 20,000 BTUs. Paper pails in comparison with only 8,000 BTUs.

  17. the only concern is the littering of plastic Bag…then gvt shud take necessary step to insure this through MCD,NDMC and Delhi Waste Mang. There has to be a lot of brain storming befor banning the plastic bags….as i only pastic bags y not the products which are used for our daily house holds and lot many things…

  18. STOP PLASTICBAG ,,DELHI GOVT has not done the needful to BAN PLASTICBAG in DELHI .every market in delhi is flooded with PLASTICBAG OPENLY . Inspite of HON’BLE HIGHCOURT ORDERS
    DELHI GOVT has failed to take rightful actions
    as per court directives way back in AUG 2007—-
    shekhar how can I CONGRATULATE SHEILA DIXIT ????
    we are fooling ourselves .
    i am shocked to see the sorry state of affairs

  19. Good to see the enthusiasm and seriousness about this issue. These are some of the thought provoking concerns of the society which needs to be rectified as soon as possible. I believe a reform can only take place when the change is welcomed at all the levels: Consumer, Seller, Society as a whole, and of course the Government. Everybody should take this as a moral responsibility and encourage the awareness among peer groups about loving the environment and do something everything to make your city a better place to live. There is a wonderful principle of waste management called the principle of 3Rs : REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE. Although its a hackneyed statement but it works.
    Instead of debating between Paper bags and Polythene bags how about the idea of reducing the number of bags that we take in a supermarket. Best solution could be to carry your own bags made up of cloth, Jute, or thick reusable bag. Bottom line is Every little helps.

  20. The polybag or plastic banned in Delhi the credit should go to TAPAS NGO DELHI WHO FILED

  21. These days a material looks like cloth called Non Woven bags are very much in use in Delhi and this bag is made by plastic, but unfortunately any one can find open and rampant use of plastic and non-woven plastic bags without any fear of law in the state and every user of these bags is saying that “whenever govt. will implement the act than only we stop using such bags”…Such open fear less violation of the Hon’ble High Court judgment dtd. 28.08.2009 to ban Non Woven Bags and The Environment(Protection) Act,1986, Section 15(1) to ban Non Woven plastic bags. Well Done

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