E-commerce giants against whom a petition has been filed in the National Green Tribunal to stop them from allegedly using excessive plastic for packaging have either not submitted complete documents regarding the quantity of plastic consumption or have not responded to the communication of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
While Amazon has not submitted complete documents regarding their responsibility under the Plastic Waste Management Rules and confirmation of quantity of plastic consumption, the Flipkart has not responded to CPCB’s email dated March 4, 2020 and no other correspondence has been received from the firm so far, the apex pollution monitoring body told the National Green Tribunal.
The CPCB informed the tribunal that Amazon Retail India submitted the application for registration under Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2018 to it on December 5, 2019 having Extended Producer Responsibility of collection and channelisation of 0.5 TPA plastic waste.
“The application is under process, however, complete documents regarding pan-India coverage of Plastic Waste Management and confirmation of quantity of plastic consumption have not been submitted by firm so far,” CPCB said adding that Amazon is required to submit requisite documents regarding pan- India coverage of Plastic Waste Management and confirmation of the quantity of plastic consumption. It further told the tribunal that another firm Flipkart Pvt Ltd has not responded to CPCB’s email dated March 4, 2020 and no other correspondence has been received from the firm so far.
“However, vide letter dated December 6, 2019 Ms Instakart Services Pvt Ltd informed that Flipkart Pvt Ltd is their holding company registered in Singapore and Ms Instakart is engaged in the business of providing logistics and fulfilment services to group companies.
“Flipkart Pvt Ltd is required to submit application for registration directly to CPCB or provide requisite documents supporting its linkage with Instakart Services Pvt Ltd,” it said. The petition has contended excessive use of plastics in packaging have given rise to serious environmental challenges.
The CPCB had earlier told the NGT that the e-commerce giants need to fulfil their extended producer responsibility under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 and need to establish a system for collecting back the plastic waste generated due to the packaging of their products. It had informed the green panel that as per provisions 9(2) of the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016, “Primary responsibility for collection of used multi-layered plastic sachet or pouches or packaging is of Producers, Importers and Brand Owners who introduce the products in the market.
“Amazon Retail India Private Limited and Flipkart Private limited are involved in packaging and selling of other companies’ products and thus introducing plastic packaging in the market. They need to fulfil their extended producer responsibility under PWM Rules and should obtain registration as brand owner after submitting proper documents,” CPCB had said.
The submission came in response to a plea filed by a 16-year-old boy who has approached the tribunal to stop e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart from excessive plastic use in their packaging. Aditya Dubey, through his legal guardian, has pleaded the NGT to direct Amazon and Flipkart to stop excessive use of plastic in packaging the goods delivered by the firms.
“The e-commerce companies are covered under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. But due to a lack of monitoring and implementation, the respondents continue to use excessive amounts of plastic in wrapping and packaging their sold items,” said the plea, filed through advocate Divya Prakash Pande.
Dubey’s plea had contended that the companies deliver items in cardboard boxes, which are too large when compared to the size of the items being delivered. The plea has also said that though the home-delivery service of e-commerce companies have been very useful for consumers, they have given rise to serious environmental challenges due to excessive use of plastics in packaging.
Once goods are delivered, the plastic waste is thrown away in garbage and it ends up at landfill sites, leading to a burden on the earth and damaging the environment, it said. Dubey said the two companies have not made any arrangements for either taking back the plastic material or ensuring that it is recycled.