Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding restriction on use of plastic bottles and multi layered plastic packages, India, 14/10/2019

  • 14/10/2019

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Him Jagriti Uttaranchal Welfare Society Vs Union of India & Others dated 14/10/2019 regarding restriction on use of plastic bottles and multi layered plastic packages used for packaging of carbonated soft drink and liquor as well as other items, in view of the adverse impact on the environment and health.

Summary of the Case: 

An Expert Committee was constituted by an NGT order of May 31, 2019 comprising of the representatives of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India FSSAI, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Directorate General Of Health Services (DGHS) to consider whether any further regulatory provisions are required on the subject of restrictions on the packaging by use of plastic material and if so to what extent.

The Committee submitted its report in August 2019. Some of the areas of concern listed included the continued use of multi polymer plastic (MPP) or multi layered plastic (MLP) and increasing use of small packages such as bottles used for beverages, sachets, pouches which are not viable to collect and recycle.

The Committee also proposed a systematic action plan which included institution of the concept of 'plastic footprint', discouraging small pack sizes and reducing plastic content in multi-layered plastic (MLP).

The Committee further noted that these are not only environmental issues but also public health issues and noted that FSSAI has established a seprate "‘Scientific Panel on Packaging and Food Contact Materials".

Taking into consideration the report submitted by the Expert Committee, the NGT directed the FSSAI, BIS, CPCB, DGHS and MoEF&CC to take further follow up action based on the report within three months and furnish an action taken report.