Any product made out of recycled plastic should be marked ‘recycled’ for the knowledge of customers buying them. This was proposed by Union ministry of environment and forest (MOEF) official Sanjeev D.
He added that the marking of recycled plastic is as per the provisions of ‘Recycled Plastic (Manufacture, Usage) Rules, 1999, the Bureau of Indian Standards specification.
The education officer (law) from CPR environment education centre, a centre of excellence under MOEF was speaking during a debate on the issue of plastic recycling and manufacture, marking and codification at an environmental law workshop at Kare College of Law, Margao. The workshop was held jointly by this Chennai-based centre and department of science and technology, Goa.
The participants, who included law students and faculty members, among others, suggested strict enforcement at the manufacturing level to ensure that the manufactured plastic product adheres to the right density (40 microns). It should also be coded ‘recycled’ for the awareness of people. In case of violation, the authorities should even go to the extent of disconnecting the manufacturer’s power supply, they said.
Sources, however, said that as plastic products, especially of recycled plastic, are not manufactured locally, the enforcement has to be done at the factory level. “The recycled or second strength plastic is more hazardous to health,” a source said.
The used plastic is melted again at a high temperature and remoulded into a newer product. “But as it is of lesser strength, it is combusted at a certain temperature and further remoulded with some chemical for bonding and making it more cohesive,” the source said.
Sanjeev D also suggested introduction of a suitable bar codification system to curb the menace of plastic bag usage and manufacture. “The codification could be introduced in the state and it would tremendously assist the authorities to maintain and confiscate plastic bags below 40 microns density,” he said.
This would also prohibit usage of carry bags of recycled plastics and enforce specific conditions on the manufacturers of carry bags, he added. A bar coding system is an electronic device with sensors to detect whether the plastic is greater or less than 40 microns or even of recycled material.
Environment officer U T Arasu gave a detailed presentation on environment impact assessment (EIA), a management tool for ensuring optimal use of resources as also to identify and evaluate potential impacts in development projects.
He also detailed the issue of Eco mark notification, which is issued by MOEF, which is a label entrusted to environment-friendly products like soaps, paper, food items, paints etc as per the Indian Standard Institute.
This is to ensure quality adherence as these products generally cause less environment pollution with respect to other competitors in the market.