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High Court Ban on Plastic Packaging

Traders of the state, under the banner of Himachal Pradesh Beopar Mandal, yesterday decided to move the apex court against the Himachal Pradesh High Court's decision to ban 25 junk food items sold in plastic packaging in the state from January 26 this year.

The High Court has also directed the government to ensure that from March 31, foodstuff, including primary and essential food manufactured, transported, sold, packaged and distributed in the state, conforms to the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006 and the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulation of 2011.

The traders have been perturbed as most of the fast-moving packaged edible products of branded and unbranded types come in plastic packing. In view of the orders, such material will not be allowed to enter the state for sale.

The Beopar Mandal today authorised its working-president Sumesh Sharma to lead a delegation of traders to Delhi to meet legal experts. The other members include Inderjit Singh, president of the Shimla unit, Surinder Kumar, general secretary of Manali unit, and Rajinder Sood, member of the Wholesalers' Alliance from Una.

Speaking over telephone, president of the state Beopar Mandal, Madan Lal Khurana said the delegation had left for Delhi today and would take legal advice on January 12. He said the manufacturers were not willing to change the packaging for a small percentage of the clientele in the state, which meant these items would not be on the shelves for sale after January 26.

Khurana said these orders would not only bring financial setback to the traders, but would also affect the consumers.

Expressing hope that the Supreme Court would give relief to the traders of the hill state, he said if need be, their cadre would not hesitate to take to the streets against the orders. He said while the party in power should clarify its stand, even those in the Opposition should speak their minds on the issue.

The Tribune (13-01-2014)