TN Govt told Madras High Court

In a set of pleas for the disposal of plastic waste and other items that may pollute the environment, the Tamil Nadu government has informed the Madras High Court that various awareness-raising activities have been undertaken and a policy waste management has been developed. by the Planning Commission which was passed on to all Chief Secretaries of States.

Justice S Vaidyanathan and Justice PT Asha ordered the government’s special litigant and the deputy solicitor general to produce the copies of the policy at the next court date. Since the case is about environmental pollution, the Court also saw fit to implicate suo moto the Pollution Control Board.

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) informed the court that it had held sensitization meetings in schools and colleges and sensitized students on the harmful effects of plastics. Unions and traders who are the main users of single-use plastics have also been affected. Shops, including malls and supermarkets, have been inspected and banned plastics have been seized and fines issued. Stores that repeatedly indulged in the use of banned plastics were sealed off. The GCC also informed the Court that it was exploring options to install cloth bag kiosks in markets to encourage plastic alternatives.

The Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply also informed that it has held meetings with residential welfare associations of Tambaram Corporation and briefed them on the need to switch to packing materials alternatives such as paper bags, jute bags, etc. Public awareness was conducted and people were asked to inform the Society about the presence and availability of single use plastics via Swachhtha app, Whatsapp number, toll free number and email id .

The Ministry of Environment informed the Court that initiatives had been taken by the central government during the Pragati meetings (proactive governance and timely implementation). Draft 2021 Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules have been drafted and notified. Guidelines have been issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for the use of recycled plastic content in food contact applications. States/Union Territories have been asked to establish a special task force under the chairmanship of the Secretary/Chief Administrator for the elimination of single-use plastics and the effective implementation of water management rules in plastic. A national level working group has also been set up for the same.

The case will now be resumed on June 13.

Case title: Tamilnadu Pondyplastic Association v Government of Tamilnadu and another

Case no: Rev.A 89 of 2019 in WP No 34065 of 2018

Counsel for the Applicant: E. Veda Bagath Singh, K. Vijayaragavan, M/s. R. Saravanakumar, J. Raja Rao

Counsel for the Respondent: SV Vijay Prash (Special Forest GP)

Click here to read/download the order

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