Tamil Nadu to ban plastic from January after Madras high court dismisses plea
After chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami made an announcement on June 5 in the Tamil Nadu assembly on the government’s intention to ban non-reusable plastic products, the government issued an order to the effect on June 25.Updated: Dec 28, 2018 07:58 IST
A ban on plastic, sparing a few products such as packaged foods, is set to come into force across Tamil Nadu on New Year’s Day after the Madras high court on Thursday dismissed a petition challenging the order.
A vacation bench comprising justices S Vaidyanathan and PT Asha dismissed a legal challenge brought by the Tamil Nadu and Pudcherry Plastics Manufacturers Association, clearing the decks for the ban.
The judges also suggested a total ban on all sorts of plastic.
After chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami made an announcement on June 5 in the Tamil Nadu assembly on the government’s intention to ban non-reusable plastic products, the government issued an order to the effect on June 25.
The move followed the success of a ban on plastic in the ecologically sensitive Nilgiris district, where use of plastic products has declined steeply.
Environmentalists have welcomed the move, but plastics manufacturers and small traders are fretting over the ban.
The government has exempted biscuits and other packaged foods from the ban, inviting criticism that the move is biased in favour of multinationals and big local companies.
The government is also considering sparing paper cups coated with plastic and non-woven bags provided in textiles showrooms from the ban. To the exemptions, industry has reacted strongly.
“This can be applied to several other banned items as well. The government could regulate production to increase thickness so that they can be re-used,” said Plastics Manufacturers Association presidentGSankaran.
In its petition, the association argued the ban was biased in favour of big companies and so will severely affect small traders besides rendering jobless the nearly 200,000 workers employed by the plastics industry. Sankaran said demand for plastics in the state was 1.6 lakh tonne a year, while production was 1 million tonne. Environment minister KC Karupanan said consumers and traders should switch to eco-friendly bags.
First Published: Dec 28, 2018 07:53 IST