HP high court bans food items packed in plastic | punjab | Hindustan Times
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HP high court bans food items packed in plastic

The Himachal Pradesh high court on Thursday vacated its earlier stay on state's notification and directed for its implementation, thus banning storage, supply, sale and entry of non-essential food items packaged in plastic or non-biodegradable material from January 26, 2014. Chronology

punjab Updated: Dec 26, 2013 22:45 IST
Gaurav Bisht

The Himachal Pradesh high court on Thursday vacated its earlier stay on state's notification and directed for its implementation, thus banning storage, supply, sale and entry of non-essential food items packaged in plastic or non-biodegradable material from January 26, 2014.


Vacating stay on ban, the high court excluded drinking water (both packed and mineral), which could be sold in the state.

The division bench comprising justice Rajiv Sharma and justice VK Sharma further directed the government to ensure that the edible oils or fats are packed in tin containers and not in plastic bottles or pouches.

The bench ordered that from March 31, 2014, milk and milk products, edible oils or fats, fruits, vegetable products and meat products manufactured, transported, sold, packaged should be distributed as per the regulations of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulation, 2011.

The bench also directed the government to ensure that from March 31, 2014, no food stuff, including primary and essential food is manufactured, transported, sold, packaged and distributed without conforming to the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and Food Safety and Standards (Packaging & Labelling) Regulation, 2011.

The court also directed the state to appoint a food commissioner within four weeks. Further, it directed the government to ensure that no person is permitted to commence or carry on any food business without obtaining a licence.

The court directed the government to lay down norms as per, section 3A of the HP Non-biodegradable Garbage (Control) Act, 1995,within 12 weeks and to implement Section 7 of the said Act in order to determine new non-essential food items, which are required to be manufactured, transported, sold, packaged and distributed in biodegradable material by constituting a high powered committee comprising of officers not below the rank of principal secretaries within 12 weeks.

The bench asked the state to ensure that necessary by-laws are incorporated in municipal corporation rules, municipal council and nagar panchayat rules as per Rule 6 of the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 within 12 weeks.

In its order, the court also directed all the municipal authorities throughout the state, including Shimla municipal corporation, to ensure safe collection, storage, segregation, transportation, processing and disposal of plastic waste, so that no damage was caused to the environment.

The court asked all municipal authorities in the state to manage the plastic waste by undertaking 'waste audit' at the beginning of the year and directed the district magistrates and the superintendents of police of all the districts to enforce the notification of ban on non-essential food items in non-biodegradable packaging, and they shall be personally liable and accountable for non-enforcement of the notification. Earlier, the court had reserved its order on December 6 in the case.

Facts

The bench observed that the plea that the court has entered into arena of legislation by issuing such orders deserve to be rejected as courts had determined the list, on the facts adduced by the parties and after applying the necessary law.

"The courts do not legislate by pronouncing the judgments and issuing necessary directions. The courts only recognise and enforce the fundamental, constitutional and legal rights of the parties. The orders were passed by the court, after hearing the parties and weighing all the pros and cons to safeguard health of the citizens and natural environment of the state," said the division bench in its order.

Some non-essential food items banned in non-biodegradable packaging

* Chips/wafers
* Kurkure/mad angles
* Biscuits
* Namkeen
* Lollypop/candy/candybar/toffees/sweets/ chewing gum
* Ice-cream and ice-cream candies
* Chocolates and chocolates candies
* Maggie/noodles
* Sugary cereals/cornflakes/breakfast cereals coated with sugar
* Pizzas
* Burgers
* Patties
* French fries
* Colas/carbonated drinks

Chronology