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Govt bans plastic use in tobacco packaging

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Oct 7, 2016, 6:30 am IST
Updated : Oct 7, 2016, 6:30 am IST

The Union environment ministry has banned the use of plastic in packaging pouches and sachets of gutkha, tobacco and pan masala.

The Union environment ministry has banned the use of plastic in packaging pouches and sachets of gutkha, tobacco and pan masala. Tonnes of plastic waste generated from such packets necessitated the decision.

This comes months after the ministry overhauled the Plastic Waste Management Rules of the country to tackle increasing pollution.

In December 2010, the Supreme Court restrained manufacturers of gutkha, tobacco and pan masala from using plastic materials in sachets.

A senior government ministry official said that 15,000-tonne plastic waste is generated daily, of which only 9,000 tonne is collected and processed.

As per the new guidelines, the use of “plastic material in any form, including vinyl acetate-maleic acid-vinyl chloride copolymer” has been prohibited for packaging.

“The use of plastic packaging material is found in the gutkha, tobacco and pan masala being sold in the market. The manufacturers have failed to ensure the compliance to the Supreme Court directions and the provisions of the PWM Rules, 2016, and there is indiscriminate use of the plastic for packaging ... Littered plastic sachets/pouches are posing an environmental threat and the manufacturers have not taken effective action to prevent the use of plastic in packaging,” stated the order.

“Therefore, keeping in view the gravity of the pollution being caused by littered plastic sachets of tobacco products, the ministry directs manufacturers to stop using plastic material in any form and observe strict compliance to the SC directions and provisions of the PWM Rules 2016,” the order stated.

The environment ministry also clarified that these directions will come into force with immediate effect and sought a compliance report in 30 days.

Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi