Firm supplying ‘biodegradable’ bags sans certification
In less than two months after the UT administration fined a Sector-4 filling station for using polythene bags although the owner claimed the bags were biodegradable, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCC) has stated that the firm supplying the bags is not having the required certificate.punjab Updated: Feb 16, 2016 13:26 IST
In less than two months after the UT administration fined a Sector-4 filling station for using polythene bags although the owner claimed the bags were biodegradable, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCC) has stated that the firm supplying the bags is not having the required certificate.
The board has also stated that bags or garbage bags on which the manufacturer has stated that they are made of 100% bio-based material are not permitted to be supplied to consumers if the manufacturer has not obtained the composability certificate.
The development is significant as following the ban on the use of polythene bags and plastic items, many shops claimed that they were using biodegradable bags. The bags, which are a little costlier than a normal polythene bag, are supplied by various firms.
The Chandigath administration had sought a clarification on the use of these biodegradable and compostable carry bags from the board. The board in its reply to the Chandigarh pollution control committee has stated that as per the existing rule 5 of the Plastics Waste (Management and Handling) Amendment Rules, 2011, the carry bags made from compostable plastic or material which conform to the Indian Standard IS/ISO 17088 are permitted as an alternative to conventional petro-based plastic carry bags.
However, the board has clarified that the company mentioned by the administration — GXT Green Products Private Limited — is not in the knowledge of the board and it does not have the compostable certificate.
Sub-divisional magistrate (central) Prince Dhawan said: “We had only issued the challan; no fine was collected from the outlet owner. The plastic bags had been sent for technical checking to authenticate whether they were biodegradable or not. As per the report received from the CPCC, it is clear that these bags are not permissible.”
The filling station owner refused to comment on the development, stating that he had not received any orders in this regard from the administration.
Chandigarh pollution control committee member secretary Danish Ashraf had earlier stated that those claiming to be using biodegradable bags are supposed to have a proper clearance certificate from the committee or the central body. “It is not right to start using a new product claiming it to be environment-friendly without the approval of the authority concerned,” he had said.
Following the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order in December last year, the UT administration issued challans to shopkeepers and traders for using polythene bags. The tribunal had directed that any person found storing, purchasing, dealing with or distributing such plastic items shall be liable
to pay environmental compensation at the rate of Rs 5,000 per event.
During a drive, the Sector-4 filling station owner was fined Rs 5,000 for storing 1.2-quintal polythene bags. The owner had claimed the bags, supplied by GXT Green Products Private Limited, were biodegradable, following which the administration sent the bags for verification to the control board.
The outlet owner had claimed: “We use biodegradable bags and the Chandigarh administration did not give us time to give our version. There is in fact no clarity on what kind of polythene is banned.”