Centre plans ban on laminated pouches of shampoo, gutkha

Centre plans ban on laminated pouches of shampoo, gutkha

The Environment Ministry has invited comments from the stakeholders on the draft rules for the Plastics (manufacture, usage and waste management) Rules 2009 stipulating: "No person shall manufacture, stock, distribute or sell non-recyclable laminated plastic/metallic pouches, multi-layered packaging and other non-recyclable plastics."

The draft rules also stipulate that only those pouches or multi-layered packaging from biodegradable plastic film, which meet BIS (Bureau of Indian Standard) specifications, will be allowed.

The views from the public and the industry would be considered by the end of December and if accepted in the present form, various industries, including the fast moving consumer goods and food processing firms, will have to come up with eco-friendly packaging material.

"The proposals follow suggestions of the Chopra Committee formed at the direction of the Delhi High Court last year, while hearing a case related to the plastic menace in the national capital," Joint Secretary in the Environment Ministry Rajiv Gauba said.

Seeking ban on such pouches, the panel had pointed out that "multi-layered and metalised pouches used for gutkha and pan masala are not recyclable due to their composition and as such they remain as solid waste, causing serious damage to the environment."

The three-member panel headed by retired Delhi High Court judge R C Chopra also suggested a ban on coloured bags containing metallic additives, citing health and environment hazards.

Following the Delhi High Court order based on the panel recommendations, the state government had issued a notification in January banning usage of plastic bags in hotels, hospitals, shopping malls and markets in the capital.

So far 40 shopkeepers have been prosecuted and a trader slapped with a fine of Rs 15,000 for flouting the ban in Delhi.