Plastic ban can hit industry, littering needs urgent attention in India

NEW DELHI: Delhiites (both shop owners and residents) would no longer be permitted to manufacture, import, store, sell or transport any form of plastic bag from November 22. The state government through this ‘blanket ban’ aims to lower the annual plastic waste in the national capital.

Reports suggest that Delhi is home to over 15-million people and there are over 10-million households. Each household uses nearly 5-6 plastic carry bags per day, which means millions of bags are strewn around. Currently, the state is encountering the problem of collecting littered plastic bags. The industry experts feel that more than the plastic menace, littering has emerged as as a major concern which needs to be addressed on urgent basis.

While talking to SME News about the relevance of plastic in day-to-day life, Jayesh Rambhia, president of All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association, said, “Plastic serves, its littering which pollutes. Littering should be banned. It is just not possible to live without plastic. Only 2% plastic is converted to polybag. Ban problem is confined to thin polybags.”

Reports suggest that many cities across the globe have banned the ubiquitous bags from stores, and also activists are demanding for bans. It needs no mention that the growing usage of plastic bags is taking a toll on the health of the environment as it leads to pollution. Market insiders are of the opinion that although plastic causes harm to the environment but at the same time, it helps in controlling food wastage.

Rambhia said, “In India nearly 40% food from farm does not reach consumer due to logistic bottlenecks. There are still many people who go hungry. Plastic packaging increases shelf life of food & prevents wastage. Plastic makes life affordable for masses. Use of plastic drip irrigation system, mulch films, green house films etc. saves water, fertiliser, insecticide & protect environment. Use of light weight plastic parts increases fuel average & reduce auto pollution. Plastic Disposable syringes is protecting us from spread of diseases.”

Plastic is utilised to pack food products like milk, cooking oil, flour bags and plastic cups. In India, nearly 5.6-million tonnes of plastic waste is generated every year.

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