No 100% biodegradable plastic in India, says BIS

Source: The post is based on the article No 100% biodegradable plastic in India, says BISpublished in The Hindu on 20th April 2023

What is the News?

The Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS) has said that plastic is not a 100% biodegradable product and if any manufacturers claim otherwise it will be equivalent to a misleading advertisement.

Why has BIS issued this statement on plastic?

Several companies are claiming that their products use “biodegradable plastic”. On this, BIS has said that as of now there is no 100% biodegradable plastic in India.

It said firms making such claims or ‘greenwashing’ their products are liable to face action under the “misleading advertisements” rules of the Consumer Protection Act.

Note: Greenwashing entails making an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly or have a greater positive environmental impact than they actually do.

Currently, the government gives certificates only to “compostable plastic manufacturers”, which is different from certificates for manufacturing biodegradable plastic. In the case of compostable plastic, the materials are treated in controlled environmental conditions in industries.

What are Green Standards?

Green standards indicate the environmental attributes or performance of a product or service. 

The aim is to reduce the negative impact of human activities on the natural environment and promote the efficient use of resources.

BIS has framed green standards for different sectors which include: Raw materials for construction (like fly ash, construction and demolition waste, cement, fly ash bricks), waste disposal (like recycling of plastics waste), electronic vehicles (EV charging infrastructure and battery swapping system), agriculture (organic farming process); renewable energy (wind turbines, energy-efficient motors and solar PV modules).

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