The National Green Tribunal in India has passed a law banning the use of all forms of disposable plastic including cutlery, bags and cups in the National Capital Territory area of Delhi.
The ban, which came into effect at the beginning of January, was introduced after complaints of illegal mass burning of plastic and other waste at three local dumping sites — Okhla, Gazipur and Bhalswa — that supposedly operate as waste-to-energy plants, according to the Independent.
“Each of these sites is a depiction of the mess that can be created for environment and health of people of Delhi,” the tribunal said. “We direct that use of disposable plastic is prohibited in entire NCT of Delhi. The Delhi government shall take steps for storage and use of plastic materials.”
It added: “All the corporations … and other public authorities, including NCT of Delhi, are directed to take immediate steps for reduction and utilization of dumped waste.”
India and four other Asian countries — including China and Indonesia — are the top five plastic polluters of the world, according to TreeHugger.
Those nations are responsible for a whopping 60% of the over 8 million tons of plastic that are dumped into oceans around the world every year.
At this rate, the whole continent will be dumping 80% of the world’s plastic at a rate of 200 million tons annually by the year 2025.