NGT seeks Centre’s response on plea for ban on micro-plastics

Sunday, Mar 13, 2016,11:09 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | The National Green Tribunal has sought response from the Center on a plea seeking ban on use of micro-plastics in cosmetic and body care products in India alleging their use is extremely dangerous for aquatic life and environment. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar issued notice to Ministry of Environment and Forests and Ministry for Water Resource and sought their reply on next date of hearing on April 18.

During the hearing of the plea, the bench asked advocate Sumeer Sodhi whether the matter is covered under Drugs and Cosmetics Act and how does the issue come under the jurisdiction of the tribunal. To this the counsel replied that these micro-plastics are plastic pieces or fibres which are very small and according to recent United Nations reports these are dangerous for the aquatic life and environment. Micro-plastics are plastic pieces or fibers measuring less than five milimetres.

The micro-plastics or micro-beads found in personal care products are always smaller than one milimetre. Due to the unregulated production and usage of plastics in micro-beads in various cosmetic products available in the market and the excessive usage of such products by the end users is leading to water pollution across the globe. It is, perhaps, due to these life-threatening dangers of release of micro-beads into our eco-system, that there is an international campaign for ban of usage of plastic micro-beads, the plea filed by Ashwini Kumar said. It said there is a global demand for cosmetic products.

These products are washed down the drain after use, micro-beads flow through sewer systems around the world before making their way into rivers and canals and ultimately, straight into the seas and oceans, where they contribute to the huge chunk of plastic soup in the environment, the plea said. It sought ban on the usage of micro-beads or micro-plastics in the manufacture, import, sale of various cosmetic or personal care products and imposition of fines on the defaulting companies causing environmental pollution.