New rules to curtail usage of plastic

The rule 5 (b) of the draft notification says “no person shall use carry bags or containers made of recycled plastics or biodegradable plastics for storing, carrying, dispensing or packaging of food stuffs”.

 The draft rules allows use of carry bags for purposes other than handling food stuffs. And, it also makes strong recommendations on the size and thickness of carry bags. The minimum size should be 12X18 inches and thickness should be 40 microns. Logic behind these restrictions is that lesser thickness does not support re-use of the material.
The draft rules ban use of non-recyclable plastic materials. The rule 5 (f) states “no person shall manufacture, stock, distribute or sell non-recyclable laminated plastic or metallic pouches, multi-layered packaging and other recycled plastics.”

Enforcement of these restrictions will be done by State Pollution Control boards of all states and pollution control committees in union territories.

Interestingly, the ministry has exempted those who manufacture plastic exclusively for export purposes, from the above mentioned conditions.

 Dr Lakshmikanth, assistant environment officer in Karnataka Pollution Control Board, finds this relaxation highly deplorable. “Does this mean one can produce plastic which cause environment pollution in other country?”, he asked. Further he added this provision may be misused by manufacturers with export licence, to circulate their product in the native market.

Renew registration

Once the new rules come into effect all manufacturers have to stop production of carry bags or containers irrespective of the size and thickness mentioned in the rule. All the existing manufacturing units have to renew their registration complying with the new rules.

As per the draft rules state pollution control board / committee shall grant registration within 30 days of receipt of application. The registration will be valid for next three years. The certificate of registration shall not be revoked or suspended without offering the manufacturer an opportunity of hearing.

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