Invoking provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, the Tiruchi City Corporation has sent notices to Reliance, Hindustan Lever, Achi Masala and 12 other leading companies to take back the plastic wrappers on their consumer products that are within the city limits.
Detailing the sections of the Rules, the civic body has directed the companies to come out with a proper mechanism to dispose of or take back the packaging material within 15 days of the receipt of the notices.
S. Sivasubramanian, Commissioner, Tiruchi Corporation, told The Hindu that as per the Rule 17 of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, manufacturers and brand owners of disposable products such as tin, glass, plastics and those who used plastic wrappers on their products so as to market them for sales, should provide financial assistance to the respective local bodies for establishment of waste management systems. They should have a system in place to collect the waste packaging material, in case of non biodegradable materials. The manufacturers of sanitary napkins and diapers should provide a pouch or wrapper for disposal of each napkin along with the packet of sanitary products.
Similarly, under Rule 3h and 9, the producers should have worked out a mechanism with the concerned local bodies or on their own to dispose the waste within 6 months of the publications of the rules.
Upon his direction, Mr. Sivasubramanian said that the officials had conducted a series of inspections at various places and shopping malls of the city to find out whether the manufacturers or marketers had any mechanism to dispose of their packaging materials. But, none of the companies had provided financial assistance to the Corporation for safe disposal of wrappers or had a system in place to collect back the packaging waste.
“More than 3 years have passed since the notification of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. But, no company or producer seems to have complied or taken serious note of the rules. Indiscriminate dumping of plastic wrappers, napkin and diapers has increased the burden of civic bodies like Tiruchi," Mr. Sivasubramanian said.
Hence, notices have been sent to 15 companies including Reliance and Hindustan Lever to take back their packaging waste within 15 days. Otherwise, they should come out with a plan of action to work out modalities for disposal with the support of the Corporation. Tough action would be taken against them for those failing to reply within the prescribed time limit.
“Details of other companies that marketed their products in the city limit were being collected. They will also be sent notices shortly,” Mr.Sivasubramanian said.