Kochi: Though the Union government has issued a notification banning single use plastic products from October 2, various industries are concerned over the impact of the ban, as no definition of the single use product has been made.
The Kerala Plastic Manufacturers Association said that the All-India Plastic Manufacturers Association (AIPMA), the national- level body, was in constant touch with the government, but was yet to get the details of the ban.
The impact can be ascertained only after getting the details of the products which will come under the single use category, according to industry sources.
“Most of the packaging materials are single use products. But it is not clear which are the products to be banned. An expert committee was constituted two months ago which submitted a report to the Union government on the products to be banned and their specifications. But the report has not been made public yet. Though there are several unconfirmed reports on the products which will be banned like cups, small bottles and straws, there is no official intimation from the government,” said P.J. Mathew of the association.
There are over 1,500 plastic manufacturing units in Kerala and the total turnover comes to several crores. Apart from the plastic manufacturers, other industries which are directly or indirectly connected will be in trouble if a total ban is imposed.
“Though restrictions on plastic use are needed, a blanket ban is not the solution. If the local bodies and the government can strictly enforce the ban on plastic products with thickness of less than 50 microns, it can address the plastic waste menace to a great extent. Despite the ban, carry bags with thickness of even five microns are still available in the market. The association has instructed its members against manufacturing thin carry bags and the violations are being reported to the authorities,” added Mathew.
The PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles and most of the other single use products can be recycled. The association has also submitted a proposal to the government to set up a plastic recycling plant, if land is allocated. The association is also ready to buy back used plastic packaging materials like milk cover and will approach Milma and private dairy cooperatives for this....