The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has established a commission and asked them to conduct a study to reduce the harm caused by microplastics in the environment.
A bench headed by NGT Chairman, Justice AK Goel, said the violation of environmental standards in the handling of plastic had serious adverse effects on people’s health.
A panel of Justices Sudhir Agrawal and Pushpa Satyanarayana also observed that there is a need to reconsider existing policies on environmental regulations to ensure strict enforcement of environmental regulations in the interest of human health.
Microplastics are any type of plastic fragments less than five millimetres long that enter natural ecosystems from a variety of sources, including cosmetics, clothing, and industrial processes.
The green panel said the committee would comprise officials of the Central Pollution Control Board, Indian Council of Medical Research, Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET), National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, and any other expert institutions as required.
“Such studies and recommendations/suggestions can address the value of a safe environment, remedial measures to reduce the risk of microplastics, and other related issues.
“The report of the study together with the recommendations of the remedial measures can be submitted to this tribunal by email before August 31, 2022. The MoEF and the CC can submit their report on the matter by email before the next date,” the court said.
The court order came after considering a media report that, in the absence of compliance with environmental regulations in this regard, microplastic particles are entering human blood through food, causing adverse effects.
Earlier in 2021, an analysis of the stretches of the river Ganga by Delhi-based environment NGO Toxics Link revealed pollution by microplastics in the waters of River Ganga. The river flows across five states and has been at the centre of a massive multi-crore undertaking by the Centre, in the form of the National Mission for Clean Ganga.