Pollution trouble for pan masala and gutkha initiative
Kanpur: Gutkha and pan masala manufacturers'
new initiative to sell their products in paper and aluminium
foil pouches has run into trouble with the pollution control
authority stating it could still contain plastic.
The pan masala makers were forced to change the packaging
material following a Supreme Court ban on sale of these
products in plastic pouches from March 1, 2011.
"The pollution control board has so far not permitted the
sale of pan masala in any new packing, as the sample provided
by the manufacturers was sent to Lucknow pollution board where
the results are awaited.
"No manufacturer can sell his product until and unless
they get a no objection certificate from Lucknow Board," said
U.P Pollution Control Board regional officer Radheshyam.
He added that sale of pan masala and gutkha in the new
pouch prior to the permission from the Pollution Control Board
would be in violation of the Supreme Court order, and legal
action would be taken against those who indulge in it.
The pan masala and gutkha manufacturers said they started
selling the products in the new paper and aluminium pouch,
after the excise department sent the sample pouch for testing.
Kanpur Kirana Association Chairman and one of the city's
leading pan masala distributor, Rakesh Agarwal, told PTI
Bhasha today that the sample pouch sent to the excise
department will be tested for a possible plastic content.
He said if it does not meet the yardstick then they would
recall the new packing.
Agarwal added that the manufacturers are taking necessary
precautions to ensure the pouch is plastic free, and also
taking in writing from the packaging firms that the material
does not contain plastic.
Five prominent brands have started selling the products
in the new packaging, and other manufacturers are expected to
follow suit by 1 April.
Agarwal said pan and gutka manufacturers would not raise
prices despite switching over to the costlier packaging.