Weeks after an association of plastic manufacturers raised objection to the state-wide plastic ban that is set to come into effect on January 1, 2019, the Madras High Court has dismissed their petition.
On Thursday, a bench comprising Justice S Vaidyanathan and Justice PT Asha dismissed a petition filed by Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Plastic Manufacturers Association that called for quashing of the ban. They had also sought to exempt pre-manufactured biscuit and chips packets from the ban.
Additional Advocate General Aravind Pandian, who was present in court said that National Green Tribunal (NGT) also called for a plastic ban.
Earlier, the Tamil Nadu Plastic Manufacturers’ Association (TAPMA) had called the plastic ban 'discriminatory', alleging that while use of plastics in many government sectors and large-scale private sectors continues, the same is banned for the public and small-scale private sectors. “The government order bans all forms of plastics packaging including by small retail outlets, grocery shops, whereas the same is permitted for MNCs and FMCG companies. This will hit the businesses of over 200,000 small vendors, hawkers, shops, hotels, restaurants, sweet shops, etc,” TAPMA had said.
The Association further pointed out that more than 5,000 plastics industries will be forced to close down and equipment and machines worth Rs 3,000 crore will remain idle. They also said that 200,000 direct workers will lose their jobs, resulting in a GST revenue loss of Rs 1,800 crore annually, as a result of this ban.
Tirupur-based E Bags Export had also filed a petition in court seeking an exemption for polypropylene bags. The makers of the bag argued that polyproplene bags were chemically inert/non-toxic, claiming that its burning does not produce poisonous gases or pollutants.
In June this year, to coincide with the World Environment Day, the Tamil Nadu government had announced that single-use plastic will be banned in the state from January 1, 2019. Single-use plastics are commonly used for plastic packaging and include items like grocery bags, food containers, bottles, straws, containers, cups and cutlery.