Expressing concern over the distribution of water in public places through plastic bottles and bubble top cans, the Madras High Court has directed the Central government to come up with effective alternative packaging solutions.
The bench of Justices S Vaidyanathan and PT Asha was hearing a pleas relating to "plastic ban" in the State. It observed, "insofar as drinking water stored in plastic bottles is concerned, it becomes a significant problem not only to the well-being of the environment, but, affects the quality of our health, as well."
The court noted that storing water in bottles having sub-standard quality for a longer period of time results in the conversion of good water into a poisonous one on account of a mixture of plastic particles with water.
Equally, the use of bubble top water can in all places has become common in Tamil Nadu, despite the fact that, it is highly hazardous to life, it added.
The court also directed the State Government to file a status report on how drinking water is prepared in the State and how the water cans were cleaned up. The court also enquired about the life span of water cans, how many days water was stored in water cans and the mechanism being followed for the destruction of these water cans. The court also directed the State to indicate whether records were maintained in this regard.
Next, the court enquired about the viability of offering milk in bottles instead of Sachets. The court suggested that AAVIN, a state government cooperative, could offer a choice to the consumer to buy milk in bottles by paying extra charges or offer a period to eradicate supply of milk in sachets. The court also suggested AAVIN to market milk in non-hazardous Tetra packs.
The court further suggested that other provisions and edibles which were similarly being marketed in sachets could be packed in substitutes. It impleaded the Commissioner of Food Safety and Drug Administration Department, DMS Complex, Teynampet, as a party, to provide their suggestions to a plastic free society.
The matter is now listed on August 29.