Indian Government bans plastic packaging for tobacco

9 October 2016 (Last Updated October 9th, 2016 18:30)

India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests has announced a ban on the use of any plastic material to pack tobacco, gutkha and pan masala products.

India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests has announced a ban on the use of any plastic material to pack tobacco, gutkha and pan masala products.

The order came after gutkha, tobacco and pan masala manufacturing companies failed to comply with Supreme Court orders and new plastic waste management (PWM) rules.

The ban aims to reduce the volume of non-biodegradable waste generated by plastic packaging.

"The manufacturers of gutkha, tobacco and pan masala have not taken effective action to prevent use of plastic in packaging of these products."

A total of 20 major gutkha, tobacco and pan masala producers have been asked to stop using plastic material to pack products, reported New Indian Express.

The order said: “Littered plastic pouches are posing an environmental threat, and the manufacturers of gutkha, tobacco and pan masala have not taken effective action to prevent use of plastic in packaging of these products.”

It has also directed manufacturers to implement PWM rules on the use of plastic in tobacco packaging, and submit a compliance report within a 30-day period.

In 2010 and 2011, the Supreme Court had directed tobacco manufactures not to use plastic material in any form of packaging.

The court has also directed the environment ministry to ensure compliance with the order.

In early 2016, the environment ministry issued PWM rules to decrease pollution caused by plastic materials.

India produces 15,000t of plastic waste a day, but only 9,000t is collected and composed, reported Asian Age citing a ministry official.