• Media


image description

Save planet earth

Whom should we held responsible for this mess??? We humans have already started paying a heavy price for this havoc which we ourselves created.United Nations have already raised major concern and asked all Nations to co-operate where in FRANCE is the only Nation in World who has put a TOTAL BAN on PLASTIC/EPS POLYSTYRENE/THERMOCOL FOAM BASED DISPOSABLE PRODUCTS WHICH ARE USED TO SERVE FOOD/WATER and INDUSTRIAL PACKAGING.



Supreme Court mulling total ban on plastic

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday said it would consider a complete ban on the use of plastic in the interests of animals and the environment.

A bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi issued notice to centre and states seeking their response on banning plastics on a plea by an NGO, Karuna Society for Animals and Nature, drawing attention of the court to the plight of animals, which were allegedly swallowing plastic with their food.

Karuna Society argued that extensive survey showed that cows eat polythene bags. During a test conducted on 36 cows, 32 to 50 kg of plastic bags were found in each cow's stomach, it said.

image description

The court suggested that either the use of plastic be banned or the manufacturers should pick up the used plastic and re-cycle it.

NDTV's campaign against irresponsible use of plastic came in for praise by the Supreme Court.

The bench said, "One channel- NDTV is going on a campaign against plastics. All our urban areas are getting choked with plastics. We must expand the scope of this petition. Until we examine the total ban on plastic and ensure the collection and disposal of all plastic, the next generation will be faced with a ticking atom bomb. 1000 million plastic bottles are manufactured every day for packaging drinking water. A photo of Yamuna in a newspaper looks like a lotus pond. In Bangalore the municipal corporation has developed a technology by using plastic for making roads (Sic)."

Campaign Ambassador Priyanka Chopra launched the fourth edition of the NDTV-Toyota Greenathon with a massive plastic clean up drive in Agra. This year's Greenathon focuses on discouraging the use and incorrect disposal of plastic bags. The 12-hour telethon takes place on May 20.

Sources: NDTV="http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/supreme-court-mulling-total-ban-on-plastic-207282"

After bags, govt to ban plastic cutlery soon

After imposing a blanket ban on the manufacture and sale of polythene bags in January, the Haryana government has now gone a step ahead and decided to prohibit the use of even plastic disposable cutlery..

Sources in the office of state environment minister Ajay Singh Yadav, who also holds the portfolio of finance, claimed the government is all set to formally impose a ban on all kinds of disposable plastic products and a notification will be issued in the next few days.

Pradeep Yadav, regional officer, Haryana State Pollution Control Board, said, "We are awaiting the notification as we cannot declare a ban or start fining traders without a formal communication. We will plan our strategy as soon as we get the orders.".

The response from residents and shopkeepers, however, is mixed. While some feel it is a remarkable step as plastic is a major source of pollution and harms the environment, others argue for the lack of a better substitute.

Plastic glasses, cups, cutlery and other items are easily found in local shops and are widely used by roadside vendors and even restaurants.

Chander Bhan, who sells chaat at the Sector 14 market, said, "It is not possible to serve food in steel plates, as we do not have place to wash the utensils and is more unhygienic. The government order will hit our business."

Meanwhile, environmentalist Vivek Kamboj, who runs NGO Haryali, hailed the ban. "It is indeed a praiseworthy step. Earlier too, we used to eat in pattals (plates and bowls made of dried leaves). They are eco-friendly and will help reduce the plastic menace," he said.

Sources: Hindustan Times="http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/after-bags-govt-to-ban-plastic-cutlery-soon/article1-695995.aspx"

Himachal Pradesh bans plastic cups, plates

To save the fragile environment of Himachal Pradesh from plastic waste, the government today imposed a complete ban on storage and use of non-biodegradable disposable plastic cups, plates and glasses and warned that those violating it could face a fine of up to Rs5,000.

The government had earlier decided to impose ban on plastic products from August 15 but the implementation was deferred to October 2 due to stiff opposition by traders

To make the state a "polythene-free" state, the state Public Works Department (PWD) has also launched a project under which polythene and plastic wastes are being used for roads construction.

The government purchased plastic waste at the rate of Rs3 per Kg and used it for road construction bringing down the cost considerably.

Sources: DNA ="http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-himachal-pradesh-bans-plastic-cups-plates-1594334"

Towards polythene-free State Ban on plastic goods

The high court has intervened once again to help preserve the fragile hill environment. The state government has taken a decision to make Himachal “polythene free” by imposing ban on storage and use of non-biodegradable disposable plastic products like plastic cup, plate and glass from August 15 after the court expressed serious concern over the degradation of environment being caused by such waste.

Hearing this matter a Bench comprising Mr Justice Deepak Gupta and Mr Justice Sanjay Karol observed that the state must adopt a multi-pronged strategy to tackle the problem. It had not only to legislate and lay down policies but also make the people aware and ensure strict compliance of the rules. The Bench

further observed that there was also need to take effective steps for checking use of non-biodegradable packaging material used in packaging non-essential consumable items and other goods was emphasised

The court further said that under the Himachal Pradesh Non-Biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 1995, the use of coloured polythene carrybags manufactured from recycled plastic for packaging goods by the traders, retailers and vendors had been prohibited. Under the notification issued in June,2004, a complete ban had been imposed on the stockists, traders and vendors within the state on using carrybags made of non-biodegradable material having thickness of 70 microns and size less then 12” x 18”. In July, 2009, the use of polythene carrybags (irrespective of their sizes and thickness) and plastic items having one time use such as disposable plastic cups, glasses and plates made of non-biodegradable material was also banned.

“Undisputedly the state has put restrictions and prohibited use of polythene carrybags and littering of plastic waste. Efforts made in this regard are appreciable, but we feel that it is just a small step taken in the direction of preserving the pristine environment and natural beauty of the hill state.

In small measure though, it has also taken steps in making the end-user and general public aware of the same. With regard to our suggestions that the matter be considered for taking a decision to ban the use of non-biodegradable packaging material with regard to non-essential commodities”.

The stand of the state that the Government of India had already notified rules known as Re-cycled Plastics Manufacturer and Usages (Amendment) Rules, 2003, was not appreciable and acceptable as these rules only dealt with carrybags.

The extent and scope of the rules did not cover the items which were specifically mentioned in the court orders. “We are not unmindful of the fact that, for the present, it may not be possible to have a total ban of use of plastic in packaging material but the state can certainly take steps to check rampant use of the same within the state. The Act further empowers the state to impose restrictions or prohibition on the use of non-biodegradable material and also on the manufacturers, distributors and other persons, who produce or handle commodities, with respect to type, size, labelling and composition of packaging with respect to its use and disposal.

These provisions of law were either being put to disuse or brazenly violated with impunity. Drains were choked and streets are littered with non-biodegradable packaging material. The implementing agencies could not keep their eyes shut in checking this menace. Small measures, which were cosmetic in nature, were not enough. Considering the enormity of the menace, effective implementation of the laws and policies was to be carried out at the ground level .

“A proper road map needs to be prepared in this regard. To begin with, the state can impose such restrictions on the products which are actually being manufactured and consumed within the State. Harsh measures need to be adopted if environment is to be protected, preserved and saved.”

After passing this order the Bench directed the state to look into the matter and file an action-taken report by March 26. After this order the state has taken the decision and decided to imposea ban on storage and use of non-biodegradable disposable plastic products like plastic cup, plate and glass from August 15.

Sources: Tribune India ="http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110209/himplus.htm#2

Claiming wide acceptance of its programme targeted to reduce environment hazards due to the use of plastic, the government announced on Wednesday that sale and use of disposable plastic plates and glasses were likely to be banned in the state.

Till now, under the 'Polythene hatao, paryavaran bachao' scheme, the state has managed to remove at least 311 tonnes of plastic waste at over 1,600 critical locations. The waste is now used either in incinerators of cement plants to generate energy or for tarring of roads after shredding and mixing it with bitumen.

During a meeting with the Central team that is in Himachal to assess the state's scheme to reduce the use of polythene and plastic, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal announced the state's proposal to ban disposable plastic plates and glasses. The 'ban-polythene' scheme has been shortlisted for the Prime Minister's award for best governance practices. Dhumal said: "Instead of plastic, alternate paper products for disposable use will be explored and encouraged."

The government is also considering a proposal to transfer all fines collected on account of environmental challans to the Environment Fund. The CM said this amount would be further disbursed among the deputy commissioners to more effectively implement various environment protection programmes in their respective districts.

Soon, the tourism department is expected to launch another scheme to educate those coming to the state about 'Mindful Travel in Himachal Pradesh'.

Sources: Indian Express ="http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/hp-likely-to-ban-disposable-plastic-glasses-plates/736683/"

Indian plastic regulations take the biscuit

INDIA - In the endless march against the evil plastic bag, politicians across Asia are flexing their populist muscle and introducing legislative measures to either restrict or ban plastic outright with varying levels of success. However the position that plastic packaging manufacturers in India find themselves in really takes the biscuit – quite literally.

Not satisfied with slapping a ban on plastic shopping bags in July 2013, the Northern Indian State Government of Himachal Pradesh took a step further and introduced a ban on 25 food items sold in plastic packaging including biscuits, crisps, candy, chewing gum, ice cream, chocolates, noodles and other snacks.

The ‘ban order’ came as a response to three court petitions filed in 2010 aimed at reducing indiscriminate use of plastic. In October 2011 the State government took the first step and imposed a complete ban on storage and use of non-biodegradable disposable plastic cups, plates and glasses and warned that those violating it could face a fine of up to Rs5,000.

At that time the state’s Supreme Court ordered the formation of a committee, headed by the then Chief Secretary of the State, to recommend how to reduce the use of plastic packaging in food items. However, the committee failed to follow the order and was disbanded by order of the court and a second committee formed. According to local media reports at the time “after much dilly-dallying, the committee gave its list of recommendations in January 2013.”.

In its order, the court pronounced that the list was not final and more items could be included. “These items should be brought into Himachal only in biodegradable packaging and even soft drinks should be brought in glass bottles or other biodegradable packaging but not in non-biodegradable packaging", the bench had said in the order

However industry associations, Sanyukt Vyapar Mandal Khalini, the Indian Biscuits Manufacturers Association, NOIDA, and Haroli Block Industries Associations, Tahliwal Una promptly presented a petition to the Himachal Pradesh High Court based on the argument that the court encroached the area of legislation by issuing such orders, and that the courts had no jurisdiction in the matter.

On September 3, the Court ordered the State administration to freeze the implementation of the regulation until 19 November 2013 while it heard the petition, and following a hearing, the bench rejected the petitioners' plea.

"Courts do not legislate by pronouncing judgments and issuing necessary directions. Courts only recognise and enforce fundamental, constitutional and legal rights of the parties. The orders were passed by the court after hearing the parties and weighing pros and cons to safeguard health of citizens and natural environment of the State," the judgment reads.

Now, as per the court order, in addition to the 25 ‘junk food’ items to be banned (See Table 1), milk and milk products, edible oils/fats, fruits, vegetables and meat products will be manufactured, transported, sold, packaged and distributed as per the Food Safety & Standards (Packaging & Labelling) Regulation, 2011.

The court also directed the state to ‘lay down norms as per Section 3A of the HP Non-biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 1995, within 12 weeks and implement Section 7 of in order to determine new non-essential food items, which are required to be manufactured, transported, sold, packaged and distributed in biodegradable material” Additionally edible oils/fats must be packed in metal containers and not plastic bottles or pouches

One of the petitioners against the government notification, the Indian Biscuit Manufacturers’ Association (IBMA), is now planning to file a further review petition in the court.

Sources: Pack Web Asia="http://www.packwebasia.com/packaging-editorial/asian-packaging/2948-indian-plastic-regulations-take-the-biscuit"

Other Indian state plastic bans

Across the Rest of India it is a similar story with no fewer than 14 states and municipalities having introduced restrictions or outright bans on plastic packaging since 2012, with varying enthusiasm while the litigation briefs and appeals are flying like confetti.

In New Delhi, the 2011 plastic waste rules intended to regulate the use, collection, segregation and disposal of plastic bags, including packaging of items such as magazines and greeting cards as well as garbage bags, have largely been ignored.

In 2009, the government exercising provisions of Delhi Degradable Plastic Bags (Manufacturing, Sales and Usage) and Garbage (Controlled) Act 2000, forbade sale, storage and use of all kinds of plastic bags in certain notified places, such as luxury hotels, hospitals, restaurants, all fruits and vegetable outlets, liquor vendors, shopping malls, local shopping centres and all retail and wholesale outlets of branded chains selling consumer products. The ban, however, did not produce the desired result.

In September 2011, a notification for implementation of the decision was issued under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, under which violators could face imprisonment up to five years and fine. A November 22 deadline was given for all parties to stop manufacture, sale, storage and use of the plastic bags, to little avail.

The Central Pollution Control Board has instructed the Delhi Pollution Control Committeer to provide, within 15 days, its Annual Action Report for the periods 2011-12 and 2012-13 but thus far has received no reply

The 2011 Act made changes in the way plastic bags are being regulated. One of the main provisions was that no carry-bags should be made available free of cost to consumers. "The municipal authority may determine the minimum price for plastic carry bags," says the Act, but no price has been set.

Other provisions of the Act stipulate that foodstuffs will not be allowed to be packed in recycled plastics or compostable plastics, recycled carry bags will conform to BIS specifications and plastic carry bags will either be white or have pigments and colorants which are in conformity with the ban prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards. Also, plastic bags should not be less than 40 microns in thickness. However, inspectors have no measuring instruments.

According to the Chief Minister’s office: "From today, the government has banned all use, sale and manufacture of plastic bags in the city. No exceptions will be made.

"Plastic is an environmental disaster. These bags clog the city's drains, they are non-biodegradable. It might take time, but we have to ensure that this ruling is enforced throughout Delhi," he added.

Almost immediately after the ink was dry on the local government ordinance, the All India Plastic Industries Association (AIPIA) filed an appeal, saying the order would jeopardise the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people involved in the manufacture and sale of plastic bags.

The case is still being heard by the Delhi High Court, or more accurately it is somewhere on a court docket in a filing cabinet somewhere in India’s monolithic legal system… which makes the topic subjudice, which means that we can’t talk about it here.

What we can talk about is the absence of real science in all of these arguments in before the various chambers, legislative or judicial, throughout India.

No legislative authority or court in India has conducted or commissioned an LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) on plastic bags or packaging

The position taken that biodegradable is ‘good’ plastic is ‘evil’ may be valid in the court of public opinion, but the Indian reality is that:

The country has no capacity to manufacture biodegradable plastic in the grades, quality or volumes required. According to KP Mohandas, secretary general of the Indian Biscuit Manufacturers’ Association in appealing the Himachal Pradesh court order “We have been consulting the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) about introducing bio-degradable packaging. The director told us clearly that no such technology is available in the country for biodegradable packaging of mass food products such as biscuits.

Not a single Indian State has a segregated waste collection system that could isolate biodegradable plastic from other household waste, and even if they did….

The country has no industrial composting facilities whatsoever means that by replacing conventional plastic with biodegradable the problem will still not go away!

The growing intervention of the judiciary, over the legislative arm of the state is a worrying trend. While the judges are not introducing laws they are effectively ‘making law’ by their rulings.

Sources: Pack Web Asia ="https://www.packwebasia.com/packaging-editorial/asian-packaging/2948-indian-plastic-regulations-take-the-biscuit"