Order of the Madras High Court regarding use of plastics by food manufacturers to pack their products in packages, 12/08/2022

  • 12/08/2022

Order of the Madras High Court (Review Application No. 89 of 2019) regarding use of plastics by food manufacturers to  pack their products in packages.

The court placed a query to the counsel of the Central Government on whether the government could think of other alternatives other than plastics and the methods to be adopted for enforcement. Additional Advocate General, J.Ravindran produced before the court, the advertisements being published in the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board website, which offers the alternative for using plastics in different forms. For example, the alternative that is offered for plastic thermocol plates are plantain leaves, Lotus and Areca leaf plates, stainless steel and ceramic plates, aluminium containers and wraps. Likewise, for the plastic carry bags of all sizes and thickness, alternatives that are offered are paper, jute, cloth and cardboard bags.

The Additional Advocate General assured the court that the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board endeavours to give greater publicity to plastic alternatives.

The High Court asked the Central Government to find an effective alternative for plastic bottles for drinking purposes in all public places. The court also wanted to know whether AAVIN, which is the major milk supplier throughout Tamil Nadu can think of offering milk in bottles instead of sachets.

The bench of Justices S. Vaidyanathan and P.T. Asha also put forward a suggestion as to whether AAVIN can think of marketing milk in non-hazardous Tetrapacks. Also, whether the supply of provisions and edibles now being marketed in sachets can also be packed in the substitutes as suggested above.

The Tamil Nadu Government is directed to file a detailed status report as to (a) how drinking water is prepared; (b) how water cans are cleaned up; (c) the life span of water cans; (d) how many days water is stored in water cans and (e) the mechanism being followed for destruction of water cans. The State Government shall indicate as to whether records are maintained with regard to the above. Further, the State Government shall also file a detailed report as regards supply of milk in bottles/tetrapacks, by obtaining suggestions from AAVIN.