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Indian NGOs file public interest litigation to ban plastic bags

Indian NGOs file public interest litigation to ban plastic bags, Packaging, Asia, India, packaging legislation
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed by NGOs in India seeking a complete ban on the use of plastic bags in the country in the interest of protecting the public.

India’s Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre and all state governments about the PIL, which was filed by a number of animal welfare NGOs who say that plastic bags are not properly disposed of and end up being eaten by animals and getting stuck in their stomachs.

The NGOs are asking that the governments be directed to implement door-to-door garbage collection and ensure that waste storage facilities are constructed and properly managed.

“Due to government neglect across the country and her maritime boundaries or coastline, animals particularly cows and bulls, are ingesting plastic from garbage dumps and plastic bags littered across the landscape and oceans. The ingestion of plastic from plastic bags chokes the stomach of cows,” the petitioners said.

“Despite the enactment of rules for the disposal of municipal solid wastes and the management and handling of plastic waste, the governments have failed and neglected to implement these rules.”

As a result of the PIL, a bench headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi has been formed.

The bench noted that drainage systems and lakes in India are becoming increasingly choked because of improper used plastic bags disposal, and agreed to hear the PIL because it said the issue raised is important to all human beings.

The bench is now seeking the government’s response to establish a proper mechanism for plastic bags waste disposal.

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