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The NGT has also asked the CPCB to consider such recovery from entities such as Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Bisleri, Parle, Patanjali, Himalayan Water and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism.
The National Green Tribunal on Thursday asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to consider ordering an environmental audit against entities such as Amazon, Flipkart, soft drink companies and packaged drinking water companies, among others.
The Tribunal has asked the CPCB to consider not only an environmental audit to assess the extent of violation of environmental norms by these entities but also to recover compensation for such violation in line with the due process of law.
The order was passed by a Bench comprising of Chairperson, Adarsh Kumar Goel, Judicial Member SP Wangdi and Expert Member Nagin Nanda.
This recommendation from the NGT came while hearing two applications which highlight the violation of the Plastic Waste Management Rules of 2016 by these companies. It is alleged in the applications that many companies were using plastic packaging material which was in excess of the permissible statutory limit.
The companies named in these applications include Amazon, Flipkart for using excess packaging material. Companies like Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Bisleri, Parle, Himlayan Water and Indian Railways Catering and tourism are also named for violating these statutory liabilities.
The applications pray for enforcement of ‘Extended Producer Responsibility’ under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. When the case was taken up at an earlier instance, the CPCB was asked by the Tribunal to look into why the statutory regulators were not taking coercive measures.
The regulators had also failed in invoking principles like the "polluter pays" principle, the Tribunal noted and had asked the CPCB to file a report.
In this report submitted by CPCB on September 4, the Board lays down its reasons for why the law was not enforced. However, it falls short of enlisting the coercive measures taken either by CPCB itself directly or in tandem with the State PCBs, the NGT order notes.
As such, the Tribunal has not only asked the CPCB to consider directing an environmental audit of these entities and receive compensation, but it has also directed the Member Secretary of the CBCP to be present before the Tribunal, through video conferencing, on the next date of hearing which is fixed for October 14.
In the meantime, the CPCB is also required to file a report listing the steps and measures taken by it against these entities.