Plastic bag makers in Maha seek 7-yr moratorium

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Apr 2018 11:09:41


Business Bureau,

FOLLOWING the ban imposed on manufactruing and use of plastic bags in the state, the Plastic Bag Manufacturers Association of India (PBMAI) on Thursday urged the Government to provide a seven-year moratorium period to exit the industry.
The association claimed the ban will put its members’ investments in jeopardy and make nearly 3 lakh people jobless.

The State Government on March 23 had banned the manufacture, use, storage, distribution, sale, import and transportation of all kinds of plastic items. The ban covers a wide range of items made of plastic and thermocol, including, bags, dishes, cups, glasses, bowls, forks, spoon, straw, containers, small PET bottles and decoration items.
“We have urged the State Government to provide a seven-year moratorium before we exit the industry. The Rs 15,000-crore platic bag manufacturing industry has nearly 2,500 manufacturers, who have made an investment ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 50 crore each and obtained loans from private as well as public sector banks to set up units in the state,” PBMAI General Secretary Neemit Punamiya said.

He said the ban on plastic bags has derailed the production, packaging and supply schedules of grains, bakery and clothing industries.

“Many units are on the verge of closure in the absence of basic packaging material - plastic bags - and we fear that nearly 300,000 people employed may become jobless. We have urged the Maharashtra Government to come out with a solution to save the industry,” he said. Punamiya also informed that the association members met and petitioned the state minister for environment, Ramdas Kadam, and sought waiver on packaging material till alternatives are identified and made available.

Meanwhile, another association Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturers Association has urged Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to treat food grains and all food items including fruits and vegetables at par with milk and extend the repository (50 paisa per bag) scheme on them. “Failure to act immediately will cause untold misery to all. This may not yield commensurate gains to the environment as envisioned by the plastic ban notification,” its President Ravi Jasnani said.

In Mumbai alone over 680,000 readymade garments pieces for exports are stuck on account of non-availability of transparent plastic bags for packing, according to the Clothing Manufacturers Association of India.