Over 50,000 SMEs on verge of closure due to plastic ban in Maharashtra Business -Standard News–25.02.2018

Plastics manufacturers in Maharashtra have urged the government to withdraw the blanket ban on plastics and implement the limit of 50 microns thickness limit instead, to prevent the closure of around 50,000 units fearing immediate unemployment of nearly 400,000. The government of Maharashtra in its order dated January 2 has imposed a blanket ban on the use of plastics in the state since March 2018. The blanket ban would prompt the government to suspend use of plastics on milk pouches, police barricading, dustbins on railway stations etc. The state government has asked enforcement bodies to implement the order and impose a fine of Rs 5,000 for violating this order. The move, however, was opposed in a march here on Friday with participation from a number of associated industry associations and their thousands of member protesters associated directly and indirectly with plastics industry. “For last several months, we have tried to bring the drawbacks of such a blanket ban on plastic usage and production to the notice of government and also enhance its awareness amongst the public. Unfortunately, we have not succeeded in gaining any support; hence morcha seems to be the only option available to us to communicate our concerns and express our demands as well.
Units involvement in plastic business are largely from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro SMEs (MSMEs),” said Ravi Jashnani, President, Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturing Association. The state government’s proposed immediate blanket ban on sales of plastic bags as well as plastic packaging materials and production of such materials will adversely impact thousands of people engaged in the industry such as manufacturers, employees, dealers, consumers including the public at large as also by the state’s economy. Interestingly, the central government in March 2016 raised minimum thickness of plastic carry bags from 40 microns to 50 microns. The Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, had said that 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated every day of which 9,000 tonnes are collected and processed, but 6,000 tonnes of plastic waste is not being collected. Many producers of various plastics articles emphasized the need to control its littering through consumer awareness instead of a blanket ban on its production and sale. Kaushik Sanghvi, Secretary of Plastic Manufacturers Social Welfare Association, said, “Our demands are reasonable and are in the interest of all concerned including the State of Maharashtra. We want to work together with authorities in ensuring that plastic does not cause any damage to the environment. We welcome the government’s move that has already banned usage of plastic bags below 50 microns, but it is sad that poor implementation of this ban has failed to curtail its usage.”

via Over 50,000 SMEs on verge of closure due to plastic ban in Maharashtra Business Standard News

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