The Indian Supreme Court is reportedly considering introducing a ban on plastic packaging for products such as milk, oils, soaps, shampoo, fertiliser and chips, having already instigated a ban on plastic for the packaging of tobacco products.

A Public Interest Litigation was filed in the Supreme Court on 31st March 2011 and the move has been notified to the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

The litigation argues that the ban on tobacco plastic pouches can only marginally help the plastic waste problem, as ‘toiletries, oil and milk and food items’ also tend to be packaged in plastics, yet ‘are still not covered under the ban’.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said recently that he was against a blanket ban on plastic as it would be “disastrous” for India’s plastics industry. Instead, he would prefer regulatory measures encouraging consumers to think about “the judicious use of plastic and how to dispose of them [sic] in a more environmentally friendly way”.