New Delhi: Issuing a notice to seven tobacco companies and the Union Government, the Supreme Court on Monday acted on a petition seeking to restrain them from using a type of plastic material to package their products.

The step was taken after petitioner Abani Sahu told the bench comprising Judges GS Singhvi and CK Prasad that some companies continue to use harmful plastic material VMCH solution vinyl resin for packing chewing tobacco.

“The outer most cover of the products is made of paper but the inside of the tobacco is packaged with harmful plastic materials,” he said. Sahu also mentioned in his petition, the action of the companies pose a grave threat to the environment and health of the people.

The petitioner also claimed that the manufactures had also stopped printing the mandatory date of manufacture on the packets. He also blamed the government for playing key role in the corruption by saying it is not possible that such a violation could have occurred on the magnitude and extent without active collusion of the officials.

VMCH solution vinyl resin is a form of plastic material with a high molecular weight and is believed to be harmful to environment.

Evidently, the Supreme Court in December 2010 had banned plastic sachet from March 1, 2011. The notice is returnable by July 6.