Tamil Nadu

When will plastic be banned completely, asks HC

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Govt. told to list steps taken to implement ban, calls for tough action against those using disposable plastics

The Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the State government to list the steps taken by it so far to implement a complete ban on all kinds of plastic products and not just single-use plastics. The court also wanted officials to act tough against all those who were continuing to use the banned ‘use and throw’ plastic products.

Justices S. Vaidyanathan and P.T. Asha granted time till February 11 for Additional Advocate General P.H. Arvindh Pandian to file a detailed report regarding steps taken for making the State completely plastic free.

The judges in December 2018 refused to stay a Government Order for banning single-use plastics in the State from January 1, 2019. Then, they had gone a step ahead and opined that even products exempted under the GO should be banned in order to make the State completely plastic free and encourage the use of paper and cloth products. Subsequently, another Division Bench of Justices R. Subbiah and Krishnan Ramasamy upheld the validity of the GO in July 2019 and they too agreed with the earlier Bench led by Justice Vaidyanathan that all kinds of plastic products including multi-layered plastic wrappers used to pack milk, oil, biscuits, snacks, chocolates and medicines should be banned.

When the case was listed for reporting compliance before the Bench, comprising Justice Asha, on Tuesday, the judges pointed out that plastic carry bags were still being used illegally by many hawkers. The judges pointed out that flower sellers outside many temples were continuing to use the banned carry bags.

AAG seeks time

Then, the AAG informed the court about several news articles carried by The Hindu regarding the earnest steps taken by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to implement the ban and how people still find ways to use the banned products. He urged the court to grant him a month’s time to come up with a detailed report on the issue. An advocate appearing on behalf of a plastic manufacturers association told the court that the selective ban imposed by the State government on few products had led to the decline of the plastic manufacturing industry in the State whereas the same industries in other States were flourishing by supplying the same goods to Tamil Nadu.

Since there was no ban on selling edibles and other goods in pre-packed plastic bags in supermarkets and other stores, such bags were being supplied by manufacturers in neighbouring districts, whereas domestic manufacturers had been completely banned from making them within the State, he claimed.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 1:35:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/when-will-plastic-be-banned-completely-asks-hc/article30507369.ece

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