NGT Asks to Conduct an Audit And Recover Fine From Amazon, Flipkart for Excessive Plastic Packaging

  • The National Green Tribunal has directed the Central Pollution Control Board to conduct environmental audits and recover fine from Amazon and Flipkart for using excessive plastic packaging.
  • The tribunal sought an action taken report in the matter before October 14, the next date by e-mail.
  • The submission came in response to a plea filed by a 16-year-old boy, Aditya Dubey, through his legal guardian.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to conduct environmental audits and recover fine from Amazon and Flipkart for using excessive plastic packaging.

The NGT observed that the statutory regulators were not taking coercive measures, including the invoking of the polluter pays principle for enforcing the statutory norms against the e-commerce firms.

“A report has been filed by the CPCB, which again mentions one or other reasons for not enforcing the law but does not mention the coercive measures adopted either directly by the CPCB or in coordination with the state pollution control boards,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel said.

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The bench said the CPCB can also consider ordering environmental audits against the concerned entities and assess and recover compensation for violation of environmental norms. The tribunal sought an action taken report in the matter before October 14, the next date by e-mail.

The primary responsibility for the collection of the used packaging material is of producers, importers, and brand owners who introduce the products in the market, according to the provisions 9(2) of the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.

The CPCB has earlier told the NGT that e-commerce giants need to fulfill their extended producer responsibility under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, and need to establish a system for collecting back the plastic waste generated due to the packaging of their products.

The submission came in response to a plea filed by a 16-year-old boy, Aditya Dubey, through his legal guardian pleading the NGT to direct Amazon and Flipkart to stop the excessive use of plastic in packaging the goods delivered by the firms.

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“To ensure that the sold items do not move around in the outsized boxes, they wrap the items in multiple layers of plastic sheets and plastic bubble wraps and thereafter fill the large empty spaces in the boxes with additional sheets of single-use plastic. Once goods are delivered, the plastic waste is thrown away in the garbage and it ends up at landfill sites, leading to a burden on the earth and damaging the environment,” the plea had said.

Single-use plastic has emerged as one of the biggest environmental challenges for our planet. It is cheap, useful, ubiquitous, and very deadly.

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