India Plastic Bag Crisis
Surpreme Court Declares War on Plastic Bags
According to a report by the Times of India, plastic bags have become more than just a nuisance around India.
The Supreme Court recently stated plastic bags, due to unregulated disposal, are clogging up lakes, ponds and sewage systems and, in the words of the Supreme Court, pose a threat more serious than an atom bomb for the next generation.
This particular comment by the Supreme Court comes after NGOs Karuna Society for Animal and Nature and Visakha Society for Protection and Care of Animals from the Andhra Pradesh region stated they had recovered over 100 pounds worth of plastic bags from the stomachs of cows.
The Supreme Court followed up by issuing a notice to state governments about the NGO’s Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which is trying to ban the use of plastic bags in areas that lack prompt waste collection and disposal systems.
When the garbage is allowed to fester for days on end, cattle invariably wander over to the garbage and just start munching away, leading to these plastic bags being ingested. The bags then get stuck in the cows' stomachs.
“All of us are watching how our lakes, ponds and urban sewerage systems are getting choked by plastic bags. We want to expand the scope of the petition. Unless we examine a total ban on plastic bags or put in place a system for manufacturers mandating them to collect back all plastic bags, the next generation will be threatened with something more serious than the atom bomb,” Justices Singhvi and Mukhopadhaya stated.
The petitioners are seeking the following from the court:
Prohibit or phase out in a time-bound manner open garbage disposal systems and remove open garbage receptacles.
Implement door-to-door garbage collection and prevent animals from moving around garbage storage facilities.
States must issue directions prohibiting use, sale and disposal of plastic bags in all municipal areas.
Provide animal shelters and treat cows and other animals suffering from ingesting plastic bags.