The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 15 December 2017 imposed a complete ban on plastic items like carry bags, plates and cutlery in towns located on the banks of the River Ganga like Haridwar and Rishikesh.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also banned the sale, manufacture and storage of such plastic items in the towns spreading till Uttarkashi. The bench was hearing a plea of environmentalist M C Mehta.
The Tribunal also imposed a fine of Rs 5000 on people violating the order and similar action will be taken against officials too, if they violate the order.
This blanket ban on plastic items came after the tribunal noticed that despite its earlier orders, plastic was being used in these areas causing pollution to the Ganga river.
Ban on plastic bags in Delhi
The tribunal, in 2016, banned the use of disposable plastic in Delhi and NCR with effect from 1 January 2017 and directed the Delhi government to take steps to reduce dumped waste.
On 31 July 2017, the tribunal slammed the Delhi government over rampant use of plastic in the national Capital despite its prohibition.
In August 2017, NGT imposed an interim ban on use of non-biodegradable plastic bags which are less than 50 microns in Delhi. The tribunal has also directed the Delhi government to seize the entire stock of plastic.
NGT declares 100m area from edge of Ganga as No-development Zone