The Food Safety Commissioner on Monday informed the Madras High Court that Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulations, 2018, permit the sale of milk in multiple packaging materials, including glass bottles, rigid plastic containers, flexible plastic pouches and paper cartons with aluminium foil liner. Therefore, Aavin has chosen to sell milk in plastic pouches.
Justices S. Vaidyanathan and P.T. Asha were told by Additional Advocate-General J. Ravindran that the 2018 rules permit packaging of milk and milk products even in mud or clay pots. He said the rules list 18 materials in which milk and milk products could be packaged and the sellers were free to choose their preferred material.
The submission was made following a query raised by the court, seized of a case related to banned plastics, as to why Aavin does not revert to its old method of selling milk in glass bottles from the practice in vogue of using plastic pouches. The judges wondered whether those pouches were being disposed of properly without harming the environment.
The Bench also wanted to know the quality checks for sale of drinking water in bubble top cans. Replying to this by way of a report, Food Safety Commissioner R. Lalvena said the drinking water sellers must obtain licences from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Bureau of Indian Standards.
They must also adhere to the provisions of Product Manual for Packaged Drinking Water (Other than packaged natural mineral water). As per the 2018 regulations, the transparency level of water containers should not be less than 85% in light transmittance so that impurities, if any, could be visible to the naked eye, the report said.