Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding illegal disposal of the HDPE PP/carbon jumbo bags by Apollo Tyres Limited, Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu, 10/11/2023

Order of the National Green Tribunal (Southern Zone, Chennai) in the matter of Parthiban J Sholavarma Vs The District Collector, Kancheepuram & Others dated 10/11/2023.

The application sought a direction to Apollo Tyres Limited to stop the improper or illegal disposal of the HDPE PP/carbon jumbo bags as per law and direct the authorities to take appropriate action. Carbon black is one of the main components in the manufacture of tyres. After the carbon black is used by Apollo Tyres, the bags carrying them are sent outside either through the recycler or by any other agency.

Apollo Tyres Limited also has filed their response stating that the plant consumes 5,000 MT per month and for which, about 5,000 empty bags are being generated every month from the plant. The weight of the said empty bags is equivalent to 21 MT per month. They are using plastic bags which are designed to transport the carbon black without any leakage during the transportation. As an alternate suggestion, it is stated that they are trying to eliminate the usage of the jumbo bags from the operation by introducing the carbon tankers in their new plant in Andhra Pradesh and they are currently exploring the possibility to expand this to all other plants also.

The main allegation of the applicant is that these bags after usage are sent to the open market without being cleaned which has a carbon black content which is hazardous to the health. In this regard, Apollo Tyres Limited is directed to get appropriate instruction as to why they cannot send the bags to the manufacturer of these carbon jumbo bags under the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) under the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 or any other alternative in this regard may be suggested.

The tribunal noted that the applicant has come before the court only alleging against Apollo Tyres who is using the carbon black. Admittedly, there are similar industries that use carbon black and there should be a permanent solution in this regard and directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board also to file a detailed report in this regard as to the existing rules in dealing with plastic waste and the conditions normally they imposed on such industries and their responsibility of following the same.

The reports need to be filed before the next date of hearing, December 18, 2023.