The state government had banned single-use plastic items from January 1, 2019. This included manufacture, storage, supply, transport, sale or distribution and use of certain throwaway items such as plastic sheet, plastic plate, plastic-coated tea and water cup, water pouch and packet, plastic straw, plastic carry bag, and plastic flag. However, it had granted an exemption for use of plastic bags for packaging.
In its latest order dated June 5, the government said that plastic bags, which constitute or form an "integral part of packaging" in which goods are sealed prior to use at manufacturing or processing units, are no longer exempted from the plastic ban.
This means that food processing companies that use plastic for packaging eatables/snacks cannot market products using plastics. However, the process of implementing the notification is yet to be worked out.
The decision comes amid multiple Madras High Court observations that the state government must take steps to phase out plastic of any kind in the market, including the ones used for packaging at the manufacturing or processing stage.
Plastic carry bags manufactured exclusively for export purpose, the plastic used to pack milk, oil, medicine, medical equipment, and carry bags made from compostable plastics, however, are exempted.Also Read: Birds Are Eating Hundreds Of Plastic Bits Every Day: Studies