Thursday, October 5, 2023

NGT mulls environment audit of Amazon, Flipkart, soft drink cos, bottled water cos

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New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to consider ordering an environmental audit against entities such as Amazon, Flipkart, soft drink companies and packaged drinking water companies, among others.

The order was passed by a Bench comprising of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel (Chairperson), Justice SP Wangdi (Judicial Member) and Dr. Nagin Nanda (Expert Member), while hearing applications, seeking enforcement of ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016.

The petition was filed by Aditya Dubey, a 16-year-old boy who has approached the tribunal through his legal guardian to stop Amazon and Flipkart from excessive plastic use in their packaging.

The companies named in these applications include Amazon, Flipkart for using excess packaging material. Companies like Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Bisleri, Parle, Himlayan Water and Indian Railways Catering and tourism are also named for violating these statutory liabilities.

Central Pollution Control Board

The Green panel has been considered the matter on earlier occasions and it was observed that the statutory regulators were not taking coercive measures including invoking of “Polluter Pays” principle for enforcing the statutory norms. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was directed to look into the matter and file further report.

“A report has been filed by the CPCB on 04.09.2020 which again mentions one or other reasons for not enforcing the law but does not mention the coercive measures adopted either directly by CPCB or in coordination with the State PCBs/PCCs,” noted by the tribunal.

Taking stern view of the same, the Tribunal has asked the Board to undertake ‘environmental audit’ of these companies, to assess and recover compensation for violation of environmental norms.

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The plea argued through senior counsel Priya Hingorani and advocate Meenesh Dubey, has pointed out that Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 defined the duties of e-commerce firms but lack of monitoring and implementation of the rules, plastic packaging has become a serious environmental challenge.

Read the order here;


-India Legal Bureau

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