While regretting the stance of statutory regulators namely the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and state pollution control boards for not having taken any coercive action against violators of ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in an order dated Sept 10 directed the (CPCB) to consider ordering environmental audit against the concerned entities and assess and recover compensation for violation of environmental norms, as per law.
The petitioner had complained against excessive use of plastic packaging material being used by Flipkart and Amazon and had sought enforcement of liability against these companies for not meeting statutory liability.
In another petition the same petitioner had alleged violation of such statutory liability by Coca-Cola India Pvt. Ltd. (CCIPL), Gurgaon, Haryana, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd, Gurgaon, Haryana, PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd., Gurgaon, Haryana, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Parle Agro Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Patanjali Peya Private Ltd., Haridwar, Uttarakhand, Nourish CoBeverages Ltd. (Himalayan Water), Gurgaon, Haryana and Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corp. Ltd., New Delhi.
The NGT mentioned “that despite considering the matter on earlier occasions 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.”
The NGT also castigated the CPCB that submitted a report to the NGT on Sept. 4 which as pe the NGT “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.”
The NGT asked the CPCB to “consider ordering environmental audit against the concerned entities and assess and recover compensation for violation of environmental norms, following due process of law.” An action taken report has to be filed by the CPCB before Oct. 14.