Chennai: The Madras High Court today refused to stay Tamilnadu government’s 5 June order to ban the manufacture, sale and use of plastics in the State starting 1 January 2019.
The order came after a plea was filed by the Tamilnadu Plastic Manufacturers’ Association (TAPMA) to stay the government’s order.
TAPMA members alleged that the government order bans all forms of plastic packaging including those used by small retail outlets, grocery shops, whereas this is permitted for MNCs and FMCG companies which will hit the business of over 2 lakh small vendors, hawkers, shops, hotels, restaurants, sweet shops, etc.
They also pointed out that more than 5,000 plastic industries will be forced to shut down and equipment and machinery worth Rs 3,000 crore will remain idle. The government will also lose GST revenue of Rs 1,800 crore annually, they said.
The High Court has also ordered notice to the State government on a plea to quash the government order banning use and manufacture of non-woven polypropylene carry bags which were recently included in the ban through a notification.
The petitioner claimed that polypropylene carry bags have been classified under ‘green’ category in technical textile fabrics and said it was a textile material and not plastic. Noting that they are similar to polyester clothing, the petitioner-company claimed the bags were 100 per cent recyclable and reusable with excellent breathability and were degradable on exposure to sun light.
Polypropylene carry bags were included in the ban on the ground that they did not degrade in natural environment. Noting that the clarification was erroneous, the petitioner-company wanted the court to stay the operation of the order and quash the GO as far as non-woven polypropylene bags were concerned.