NGT raps govt for failing to conduct study on plastic use

The National Green Tribunal today pulled up the government for failing to come up with a study on plastic packaging of products and generation of such municipal waste, saying the people should know whether its use is harmful.

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday pulled up the government for failing to come up with a study on plastic packaging of products and generation of such municipal waste, saying the people should know whether its use is harmful.

"Plastic has been a controversial subject for years now. Somebody has to come out with some views. When did you (government) carry out the last study on the subject and when will you carry out the next study? When will that auspicious moment come," a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The observation came after the counsel for Ministry for Environment and Forest (MoEF) said it has filed an affidavit saying more scientific study was required on the use of plastic, packaging and generation of municipal waste.

"You (MoEF) are a responsible ministry. You can't keep the people hanging in air. People need to know whether its use is harmful or not. If they can't use plastic then educate them for using other alternatives," the bench said.

During the hearing, the counsel for Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) submitted that its reply has stated that "multi-layered/PET bottles packaging can cause injuries to health due to leaching and other chemical reaction of the content of the plastic."

Counsels of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSO) also sought a ban on using PET bottles or plastic containers in liquid oral formulations for primary packing.

The green panel noted that since written submissions have been filed by all parties, it posted the matter for day to day hearing of final arguments from August 18 to 21.

It also directed the MoEF, DGHS, CPCB, Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSA), CDSO to file a comprehensive collective reply dealing with each and every component and regarding management of municipal plastic waste and to specify whether its injurious to health or not.

The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by NGO Him Jagriti Uttaranchal Welfare Society seeking directions to restrict the use of plastic bottle and multi-layered, plastic packages and pet bottles by imposing a ban on packaging of carbonated soft drink.

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