No plastic packaging for 'gutka' from March

 The Supreme Court on Thursday took into consideration the submission made by the government that 90 per cent cases of oral cancer were caused due to chewing gutka or tobacco products and refused to interfere with its previous order banning the sale of such items in plastic sachets.

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium submitted three-volume reports by an experts panel before the Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and Asok Kumar Ganguly, stating the harmful effects of tobacco products on human life.

He further told the court that 86 per cent of oral cancer cases in the world originated from India and of these, 90 per cent were caused due to chewing tobacco products.

Taking into records the reports, the court did not extend the deadline of March 1 put by it on pan masala and gutka manufacturers during the hearing on the matter on December 7.

The government had on February 4 notified the Plastic Management and Disposal Rules 2009 in order to regulate the use of plastic for packaging gutka and other tobacco products.
The court passed the order while hearing an appeal filed by gutka and pan masala manufacturers against a Rajasthan High Court order banning the use of plastic sachets.

The apex court Bench had on December 7 restrained gutka, pan masala and chewing tobacco manufacturers from using plastic as packaging material for their products by March 1 this year.

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