Pollution trouble for pan masala and gutkha initiative

Pollution trouble for pan masala and gutkha initiative

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.