Vijayawada: Usage of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles had drastically increased in city. Fruit juice vendors, coconut water sellers are recycling the cheap PET bottles which are harmful to health.
Manufacturers are at liberty to produce the health hazard pet bottles due to absence of a monitoring mechanism from food safety and industrial departments.
Street vendors and fruit juice sellers are selling their ware by packing them in recycled PET bottles. Despite a huge awareness campaigns created about the harmful effects of recycled plastic, citizens prefer using these bottles as they are handy.
“Buyers are refusing to take raw coconuts, we are using these bottles to promote our business,” says M. Narasimhulu a coconut water vendor in city. The low price of these bottles is also a reason for the vendors to opt for them.
Around 20 recycled bottle manufacturers have established plants in Jawahar Autonagar and continuing production. Lack of proper guidelines from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has turned into an advantage for these industries.
“It is clear that consuming food products in these bottles is hazardous. One can identify these bottles with the stinking plastic smell. We don’t have proper mechanism for testing these products in Andhra Pradesh,” says a food safety official on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, doctors advise against using recycled PET bottles as they are highly carcinogenic in nature. “Using recycled plastic is a health hazard. Consuming food products packed in recycled plastic damages health in long run. It is better to avoid them, especially children should be prevented from using these products,” says Dr. Srinivasa Phani, a general physician in the city.