Are shopping malls charging for carry bags? What is the remedy
We have been observing that some shopping malls charge for plastic carry bags on the pretext of the old practice based on Govt rules for plastic waste management. As per Rule 10 of The Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, no carry bags shall be made available free of cost by retailers to consumers. However, in the amended rules under Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018, this has been deleted under Rule 15. The amended rule does not insist upon the Retailers to charge the customer for carry bags. Under rule 14 it says “Retailers or street vendors shall not sell or provide commodities to consumer in carry bags or plastic sheet or multi-layered packaging, which are not manufactured and labelled or marked, as per prescribed under these rules”.
In summary, it is now the discretion of the Shopping malls to charge for the carry bags. They may sell carry bags as a commodity which is very much legal. However, customers can raise a dispute if s/he is forced to pay for carry bags that bears the advertisement with name / brand and logo of the shopping mall / retailer / shops. If customer do not want to pay for the carry bags bearing the brand and logo of the seller / retailer then the customer should ask for plain carry bags manufactured as per Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2018 against a cost.