India’s New Delhi has decided to ban all disposable plastic bags in a bold move to overcome the issue of pollution. The decision was announced on Friday by the National Green Tribunal. The city has three main dumping sites (Okhla, Gazipur and Bhalswa) that rely on plastics to produce electricity, but burning the plastic has resulted in increased pollution.
“We direct that the Okhla plant shall continue to operate subject to the order of the tribunal… All the corporations, DDA and other public authorities, including NCT of Delhi, are directed to take immediate steps for reduction and utilisation of dumped waste,” the bench, headed by by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar, notified.
“Each of these sites is a depiction of mess that can be created for environment and health of people of New Delhi,” the tribunal added, referring to the polluting landfills. The plants will been issued fines of $7,300 if they do not comply with the new regulations.
India has been taking serious steps to eliminate air pollution. In March, Indian Power Minister, Piyush Goyal, announced the government’s plan to provide electric vehicles with zero-down payments, aiming to make the country’s streets 100% electric by 2030. At an event organized by CII Young India in New Delhi, Goyal explained that the government intends to develop a self-financing program, whereby buyers would pay for the cars with savings generated by the initiative.
The city has been embracing innovation as an alternative to traditional energy. An example is the utilization of tree-like solar panels, designed and installed by New Delhi’s Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CMERI). The panels produce enough energy for five houses, or around five kilowatts, and take up just 4 ft² of land.