Don’t criminalize us, plastic industry tells BBMP
BENGALURU: The Karnataka State Plastic Association on Wednesday accused BBMP of criminalising the plastic industry overnight and pushed its 70,000-odd workers to the edge. The civic body should find ways to manage waste instead of punishing us, they said.
Addressing a press conference, Vijay Kumar, president of Karnataka State Plastic Association, said, “Bengaluru produces 58,000 tonnes of e-waste every year, then will you close down all IT industries to solve the problem? Then why this treatment against the plastic producers?”
He said over 700 small scale plastic manufacturing units have shut down and 70,000 people working in the industry have lost jobs since the implementation of the plastic ban in the state in March. “Families of the workforce are dependent on the industry. But plastic producers and traders are also helpless — they have invested hundreds of crores to start units, but are now on the verge of going bankrupt as they are struggling to repay loans. The government has banned essential and daily-use products like carry bags, plastic cups, spoons and plates, which are hygienic,” he added.
He further said,”This ban has also caused a lot of hardships for industries like hospitals, restaurants, bakeries, provisional and retail stores, temples and even educational institutes that use plastic products every day. If you go to a wedding, what would you prefer as a more hygienic option — plastic cups or steel glasses?
Highlighting the plight of the workforce, another plastic producer said that some workers had to withdraw their children from schools as they didn’t have money to pay fees.
K Ahmed Khan of KK industries, who used 30,000 tonnes of plastic waste for building roads, said “I have built 3000 km roads in Bengaluru using waste plastic. We have the solution to the problem of plastic waste but why isn’t the Karnataka government coming forward? The Rajasthan government has approached our industries to use plastic in building roads while our government blames the plastic industry which is ready with solutions.”
He further said, “Why isn’t the government banning milk sachets, tobacco packets and other plastic usages by big industries? If they want to ban plastics then why target only the small scale industries and producers?”