Tamil Nadu bans plastic packaging of goods

This means that even items such as biscuits and chips can no longer be packed in non-compostable plastic covers.

Published: 09th June 2020 11:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th June 2020 11:54 AM   |  A+A-

PTI file image of a plastic bag used for representational purpose only

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government has banned plastic packaging of items even at the manufacturing stage. This means even items like biscuits and chips can no longer be packed in plastic covers.

So far such items were exempted even as the state government banned since January 2019 on a range of single-use plastic items, like carry bags. The Environment and Forest department had on June 5 issued an order to this effect. However, the order came to light only on Tuesday. Officials said it has to be enforced with immediate effect, but it is unclear as to how authorities will proceed with the enforcement when Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai and neighboring districts are registering a record number of Covid-19 cases each passing day.

According to a notification, plastic bags, which constitute or form an “integral part of packaging” in which goods are sealed prior to use at manufacturing or processing units, are not exempted any more from the plastic ban.   

The decision comes in the backdrop of the Madras high court's repeated observations that the state government must take steps to ban single use plastics that are used for packaging at the manufacturing stage.

The government order says that alternatives will be explored by the Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology. The alternative packaging material has to be "compostable plastics". Such alternatives should also get sanctioned by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.

The Chairman of Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board too had in his communication to the State government in January this year stated that the exemption for the plastic packaging of goods, which are sealed prior to use has not helped the State in achieving the goal of 'Plastic Pollution Free Tamil Nadu', despite the implementation of the ban.


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