The National Green Tribunal on Monday issued notice to an NGO on an allegation that it was motivated by the interests of the glass industry and not environmental concerns in filing a petition seeking ban on use of PET packaging in pharmaceuticals and other products. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar sought a response from the NGO Him Jagriti Uttaranchal Welfare Society on a plea moved by PET Container Manufacturers Association (PCMA).
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The green panel granted two weeks to the NGO to file its reply and posted the case for hearing on November 30. The NGO had sought the ban saying such packaging leached harmful chemicals and heavy metals into the contents. PCMA had claimed that the instant case was a “motivated” petition filed at the behest of business rivals of the plastic industry for their commercial interest. It had said that the NGO’s plea was liable to be dismissed as it had intentionally suppressed the fact that its President is a consultant to the glass manufacturing industry.
“The present proceedings are not bonafide proceedings and not based on environmental concerns but commercial interests of the glass industry,” it had alleged. An expert committee constituted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had earlier told the Tribunal that there was no conclusive proof that polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles used for packaging medicines have ill-effects on human health. The panel, set up by the Health Ministry in August last year, had said that PET can be used safely as a packaging material for drugs under a regulatory system and process.