NGT Directs Centre, EC and CPCB to Hold Meeting to Consider Banning Campaign Material Made of Plastic

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The National Green Tribunal has directed the Election Commission, the Central Government and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to chair a joint meeting to consider the way to ban the use of plastic made campaigning material during the poll campaign for General Elections 2019.

A Green Tribunal Bench Headed by Chairperson of Tribunal Forum Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the Election Commission, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and the Central Pollution Control Board to convene a meeting at the earliest, preferably within one week to consider proper measures.

‘In view of the above that while it may not be necessary for the tribunal to go into the merits at this stage, the matter may first be considered in a joint meeting of representatives of Election Commission, MoEF&CC and CPCB at the earliest, preferably within one week, in such manner as may be found viable’ NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar said.

The Bench further said, “The CPCB will be the nodal agency for compliance and coordination. A copy of this order is sent to CPCB by e-mail. The application is disposed of,” the bench added.

The Green Tribunal’s Directions came following a petition that seeks a direction to Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the states to prohibit the use of short-life PVC (polyvinyl chloride), synthetic plastic polymer and chlorinated plastic which includes banners, hoarding, etc for promotion and advertising during the poll campaign.

The petition filed by W Edwin Wilson through advocate Sanjay Upadhyay stated that campaigning material made of plastic are used during the election and later discarded as waste, which was detrimental to the environment.

The petition filed by W Edwin Wilson also stated that a letter was sent to the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, seeking directions to all state governments and the Election Commission for imposing complete prohibition of PVC hoarding/ banners/flexes by implementing and complying with the environmental norms, but no response was received from the ministry side.

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