Ban on #plastic #packaging for food items-mainly snacks and confectionary

January 09, 2014 By: Sandeep Goyal Category: General

 

This recent notification by Himachal Pradesh High Court directing the state government to ban the sale, storage, entry and manufacture of non-essential food items packaged in non-biodegradable material in the state by January 26 will prove havoc for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) segment. The list of food items includes chips, chocolates, biscuits, ‘namkeen’, noodles, Ice Creams and beverages.

 

A division bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice VK Sharma last Thursday directed the government to ensure edible oils and fats are not sold in plastic bottles and pouches, but rather packed in tin containers. The ban excludes drinking water, both packed and mineral

 

In its January 10 order, court had said — “We are not in any manner issuing directions that such items are banned because that is not within the purview of the court but if we follow the Himachal Pradesh Non-Biodegradable (Control) Act of 1995, the least we can do is to direct that these harmful items should be sold only in bio-degradable packing.” It said such packing might increase cost of products, “but it would be worth paying that extra money to protect environment and health of the children”.

Major stakeholders affected by this ban are preparing to move the Supreme Court but in the meantime it will be an uphill task for the state government to implement the orders. When asked RK Aggarwal, Vice President (North Zone) of The All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA) whether in fact going the bio-degradable way is in fact the future, he replied by saying that a ban is not a solution. He added, “For a common man, the term bio-degradability has a lot of ambiguity around it. Authorities need to first define the specifications of bio-degradability. Moreover, at present commercial availability of bio-degradable resins is not available in the country.”

KP Mohandas, secretary general of IBMA, said the court order is clearly against the interest of consumers, industry and trade. “We have been consulting the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) about introducing bio-degradable packaging. The director told us clearly that no such technology is available in the country for biodegradable packaging of mass food products such as biscuits. We are very disappointed with the order,” he said.

This ban might also imply then that brands need to have separate packaging for products that are retailed in the state of Himachal Pradesh, which is not a viable case. The state government is waiting to receive court orders and directives after which the ban will be implemented. “I believe regulating this ban will be an uphill task. Moreover, it might also affect tourism in the state to a certain extent. Instead of banning items, the government should really be working at fine-tuning the collection and sorting of post-consumer waste,” said Aggarwal.

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Now being packaging professionals our concern is why it’s always plastics that is targeted and blamed for all environment hazards that happen?? Isn’t it better if govt comes up with guidelines and better procedures to collect waste and further recycles it? There are associations, NGOs who make beautiful products out of recycled plastics, laminates and waste – why not promote these and support the industry.

 

Secondly if they are banning plastics for snack foods, what options do they have for industry – should be simply ban these products since alone neither paper nor metal packaging is a solutions for these products

 

Hope this information helps you in some of your decisions, we do look forward to your inputs and discussions here,

Thank you,

Chhavi Aggarwal

3 Responses to “Ban on #plastic #packaging for food items-mainly snacks and confectionary”


  1. aditya says:

    Solve your land concerns in the state where half of the land is taken on power of attorneys . Dont kill an industry or at the first stance why did you invite these companies to your state ban water also in plastic bottles you cant do it since you dont have an answer to it . Himachal one big reason you will only be a tourism state with global warming and your agriculture down the drain ,all himachalis like me would have is option of driving taxis for tourists great going himachal government no solution . why cant you collect and recycle plastic ,since we himachalis have no clue on any technology we stay in a small bubble in the hills and big reason we have to leave this place and look for jobs and entrepreneurial dreams in other states .
    jai ho dev bhoomi 
     

  2. so what is your suggestion?

  3.  
    Yes! biodegradable packaging of mass food products is good idea rather than emphasizing only on banning plastics, but untill proper technology arrangements for biodegradable packaging made they should work on process of finely tuned collection and sorting of post-consumer waste, which will improve the situation definitely.



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