Commerce ministry asks e-commerce firms to gradually slash single-use plastic in packaging

  • The companies have been advised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to develop sustainable packaging material

  • Amazon said less than 7% of its packaging material consists of single-use plastic

  • Flipkart, said that some of the focus areas for the company is usage of electric vehicles in logistics, waste management and efficient packaging, including reduction of single-use plastic

New Delhi: The commerce and industry ministry has advised e-commerce companies to gradually slash single-use plastic in packaging of products being sold through their platforms, in line with the government's commitment to reduce use of such material, an official said.

The companies have also been advised by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to develop sustainable packaging material which will contribute to reducing India's plastic footprint globally.

E-commerce companies have been asked for discarding plastic used in packaging, which accounts for more than 40 percent of non-fibre plastic, according to the official.

"With an earnest ambition to stop consumption of single-use plastic, these companies are being advised to consider gradually curtailing use of single-use plastic in packaging products being sold through their e-commerce platform," the official said.

When asked about the issue, Amazon spokesperson said the company is committed to a sustainable supply chain that leverages technology to build solutions that optimise the use of packaging material, reduce waste and create eco-friendly packaging.

 Commerce ministry asks e-commerce firms to gradually slash single-use plastic in packaging

Representational image. AP.

"We have been relentlessly working on reducing single-use plastic in our supply chain. Today, less than 7 percent of our packaging material consists of single-use plastic and we are working towards eliminating usage of them completely in our buildings in India by June 2020," the spokesperson said.

Rajneesh Kumar, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart, said that some of the focus areas for the company is usage of electric vehicles in logistics, waste management and efficient packaging, including reduction of single-use plastic.

"Earlier this year, we announced and outlined our vision of eliminating single-use plastic in our packaging by March 2021...As of 1st August, we have already achieved a 25 percent reduction in usage of single-use plastics through various initiatives across our packaging value chain, and we are aggressively moving towards 100 percent recycled plastic consumption in our supply chain by March 2021," he said.

Creating alternatives for single-use plastic packaging is one of the significant steps we have taken towards fulfilling our commitment to creating a sustainable ecosystem, he added.

The direction by the DPIIT assumes significance as the government is taking steps to cut down consumption of single-use plastic.

The DPIIT is taking and planning series of such steps under the Plastic Waste Free-Swachhata Hi Seva Campaign-2019.

It has also asked the cement plants to recycle plastic waste. Letters has been sent to chief secretaries of states regarding collection of plastic waste at industrial parks in their states/UTs for collection of plastic waste across their respective areas and to focus on plastic waste management on a sustained and continuous basis.

A communication has also been sent to CEOs/heads of 57 industrial estates under the DPIIT to participate in this campaign, ensure collection and transportation of collected plastic waste to nearest designated urban local bodies.

Similarly, industry and traders associations have been asked to sensitise all their members to participate in the campaign and to make India free from single-use plastic.

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Updated Date: Oct 13, 2019 12:48:34 IST