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THE ASIAN AGE. | SANGEETHA G

Published : Jan 30, 2020, 1:34 am IST

Updated : Jan 30, 2020, 1:34 am IST

The NGT, however, pointed out that it is for the regulator CPCB to enforce the rules.

Pressure is building up on e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart over their handling of plastic waste.

Chennai: Pressure is building up on e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart over their handling of plastic waste. In an order that could have a bearing on all companies using plastic for packaging, the National Green Tribunal on Wednesday asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to submit a fresh report on Amazon and Flipkart’s compliance of plastic waste management rules. On Tuesday CPCB had asked them to collect their packaging waste.

The CPCB also told the NGT that as per provisions 9(2) of the Plastic Waste Management (PWM) Rules, 2016, “primary responsibility for collection of used multi-layered plastic sachet or pouches or packaging is of producers, importers and brand owners who introduce the products in the market.”

The NGT ruling came on a petition filed by 16-year-old Aditya Dubey, who sought a direction to Amazon and Flipkart to stop excessive use of plastic in packaging. Dubey in his petition said that once goods are delivered, the plastic waste is thrown away in garbage and it ends up at landfill sites, posing environmental challenges.

The NGT, however, pointed out that it is for the regulator CPCB to enforce the rules.

“Amazon Retail India Private Limited and Flipkart Private limited are involved in packaging and selling of other companies’ products and thus introducing plastic packaging in the market. They need to fulfill their extended producer responsibility under PWM Rules and should obtain registration as brand owner after submitting proper documents,” CPCB had said.

Amazon India claimed that it has been “relentlessly” working to reduce single-use plastic in its supply chain and is committed to eliminating its usage in their buildings by June 2020.

“Amazon India is committed to a sustainable supply chain that leverages technology to build solutions that optimise the use of packaging material, reduce waste and create eco-friendly packaging. We have been relentlessly working to reduce single-use plastic in our supply chain and are committed to eliminating its usage in our buildings in India by June 2020. We continue to be committed to collection and recycling of plastic packaging material. Nationwide we collect plastic, equivalent to all of the plastic packaging material used by the Amazon Fulfilment network in the country,” the company said.

Amazon India is developing plastic free alternatives for packaging mailers, bubble bags, stretch wrap and tape used in the packaging. Paper cushions will replace plastic dunnage like air pillows and bubble wraps across its fulfilment centres in India.

Flipkart too said that it has been “constantly striving to find eco-friendly alternatives for plastic packaging which is resilient and keeps the product safe during transit”. “The company firmly believes in the principle of ‘business with a purpose’ and we are aware of our responsibility towards the environment,” Flipkart spokesperson said.

Tags: e-commerce, central pollution control board