Plastic Bag Rule: Is it really helping India?

21 Nov

India issues rules on plastic bagsGreat leaders of our country from the environment ministry on February 6, 2011 gave yet another reason to the Netas/Ministers of our country to rip off the common people of India. Calling this a fight against polluting plastic, environment ministry has mandated that plastic carry bags should be of a minimum thickness of 40 microns and should not be given free of cost to consumers. They have authorized the municipal authority to collect finance from shopping malls and plastic bag manufacturers for setting up plastic waste collection centres, further they have given legal permission to municipal authorities to determine the minimum price of carry bags depending upon their quantity and size to cover their material and waste management costs in order to encourage their re-use so as to minimize plastic waste generation.

The million dollar question, is this really helping India, off course not, but who cares as long as it is helping the big industrialists getting bigger and the netas/ministers getting richer. Any government mandate in India typically starts with a lot of hue and cry from the ruling opposition parties, but why everyone is silent on this one? Because all the political parties in our country are getting equal chance to milk money from this rule. Example- Karnataka is a BJP ruled state so BJP is enjoying the income generated from selling plastic bags, Delhi is a congress ruled state so Congress is milking big time, like wise all the state parties are getting their share, so no one is crying, simple.

The clever part is the way these plastic bags pricing has been done, looks like special care has been taken to price these bags so as the citizens really don’t feel the pinch. The bags have been priced Rs 2, Rs 3 and maximum Rs 7 , if the government of our country was really interested in full proof solution to the plastic menace these bags would have been priced much higher which would have really stopped people from buying and using them at the malls.

The Indian citizens are the ones who are being ripped off by these big malls and shopping canters, the bags which earlier were given for free are now being charged way too high than their manufacturing price. Tata’s electronic retail chain Croma which was already using eco-friendly paper bags has now started charging their customers for paper bags. Big or small all the businesses are trying to make money out of this new mandate from our great government.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had said “It is impractical and undesirable to impose a blanket ban on the use of plastic all over the country. The real challenge is to improve municipal solid waste management systems”. Has anyone seen any waste management system in place, like a plastic bag collection centre set-up by local municipal authorities? Who in the government has time to do all this good stuff, but yes they do have time to rip-off the citizens of India who are unwillingly paying crores of rupees to the corrupt ministers and industrialist of our country.

Ministry of environment and forest notification