The secretary was addressing the theme ‘Tackling plastic pollution’ on the occasion of World Consumer Rights Day at an event organised by PHD Chamber.
Stating that Germany has taken a lead in the way products are packed and consumers procure/transact these products, Nandan said India has to begin taking measures and make further R&D in terms of compostable plastic.
The government body Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has come out with quality standards for different types of packaging material like degradable plastic and non-plastic material.
“Various types and classifications (on packaging material) are there. How much is the industry using this type of classification and making the best of these standards? The industry must demand more from the BIS for qualities to be developed,” she said.
There should be more consultations with BIS technical committees so that various classifications can be devised in terms of different products and packaging of various products, she added.
Stressing on the need to create awareness among consumers on this issue, the secretary said the industry and consumer organisations should take steps to make consumers aware of making informed choices and be prepared to pay more because the quality of the product is as important as the quality of packaging.
“Consumer right and obligation have to acquire a new dimension,” she said.
The secretary further said now is the time to forget the competition and adopt “coopetition” where each company “coopts” and retains a cutting edge in being an environmentally friendly company.
She also said the way we collect, dispose and recycle the product—everyone in this cycle should work together not in silos to curb plastic pollution.