No more plastic bags for Gutka, Pan masala, cigarette from March 2011

The Supreme Court of India has banned the use of plastic bags for gutka, tobacco and pan masala. Supreme Court on Tuesday, Dec 7 declared the ban on use of plastic bags for tobacco related products. Supreme court also directed the government to implement the ban by March 2011. The ban on plastics for gutka will be an immediate step to ban whole gutka related products. With the implementation, gutka manufactures have to rethink over the packing materials for their products.
The bench recorded an undertaking from Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium that the government would get the required survey done by the National Institute of Public Health on the harmful effects of gutkha, pan masala and other tobacco products and also the adverse effects, if any, of the plastic pouches used for packaging the material. The bench also directed the Centre to finalise and enforce withing eight weeks the Plastic Management and Disposal Rules 2009. It rued that despite the rules having been framed in 2009, the authorities are yet to enforce them. The bench passed the direction while adjudicating a petition by a civil society, which has approached the apex court challenging the alleged unbridled sale of gutkha and pan masala material in the country, seriously impinging upon public health.
This ruling came into effect on May 31, 2009. The directive requires cigarette and packs to carry the warning “Smoking Kills,” while manufacturers of smokeless tobacco products such as gutka and pan masala have to print “Tobacco Kills” on the packs in white font on a red background. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India records about 800,000 tobacco deaths every year or 2,200 deaths a day.