Supreme Court issues stay on Himachal Pradesh High Court’s judgement to ban selling food items in plastic material

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The Himachal Pradesh (HP) High Court has imposed a ban on  sale of potato chips, wafers and all junk food items packaged in plastic and non-biodegradable material from January 26 2014. HP High Court also directed the state government to ensure that edible oils/fats should be packed in tin containers and not plastic bottles or pouches.

We believe that if this judgment is allowed to stand, then all the states may start bringing such type of legislations and will adversely impact the food & retail industry . Retailers Association of India filed a SLP in Hon'ble Supreme Court , against the order passed by HP High Court. 

Following are a few grounds on which the petition was filed:
1.The list of the so called “non-essential/junk food” items has been drawn out without any sound scientific reasons or basis. What might be non-essential for one person may be essential for the other.
2.No country in the world has imposed a ban on use of non-biodegradable plastic packaging since alternatives like glass, metal etc. increases the cost of the product and would lead to difficulties in storage, handling, disposal and transportation.
3.Introducing plastic ban will directly result in increased reliance on paper bags which, according to a number of life-cycle analysis studies, that have compared the environment performance of various types of bags, require more energy to manufacture and release vast amount of greenhouse gases when degrading following their disposal.
4.What is required is to ensure
a) safe collection, storage, segregation, transportation, processing and disposal of plastic waste
b) no damage is caused to the environment during the process
c) setting up of collection centers for plastic waste involving manufacturers, its channelization, channelization to recyclers and creating awareness among all stakeholders etc. 
The SLP filed by RAI was taken up by the Supreme Court on 20th January 2014. The Hon’ble Court was pleased to admit the SLP and has posted the petition for 10th February 2014 along with the Petition for other stakeholders. The matter is stayed till date.

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