Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding microplastics, 01/03/2023

  • 01/03/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of In re : News item published in The Hindu dated 29.03.2022 titled “Detecting microplastics in human blood” dated 01/03/2023.

Proceedings were initiated suo-motu in the light of media reports to the effect that in absence of enforcement of environmental norms on the subject, small particles of plastics enter the blood cells of human being through food, having adverse health impact.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report, February 13, 2023 acknowledged that microplastics - both primary and secondary, polluted drinking water sources. This is primarily through discharge of sewage/wastewater treatment plant effluent and surface runoff.

The NGT said that while studies need to be undertaken expeditiously and completed at the earliest, interventions need to be immediately introduced. This includes designing and manufacturing of products which are potential threat for generating microplastics like textiles, tyres and products like laundry detergents, road surfaces, and vehicles as well as, manufacture and sale of certain personal care and cosmetic products containing microplastic.

The NGT directed the concerned Ministries to consider CPCB report on microplastics and bring about the desired changes at their earliest, "preferably within four months from today by the Secretary, MoEF&CC in consultation with CPCB, ICMR, Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering & Technology (CIPET), NCSCM, and any other expert institutions as required".