IPLEX'05 -The four-day plastics exposition, organised by 4 South Indian plastic manufacturers' associations in coordination with Plastindia Foundation and CIPET, attracted 250 exhibitors. Major manufacturers of polymers, processors and equipment manufactures like Reliance Industries, IOCL, Gujarat State Fertilisers, Haldia Petrochemicals were some of the participants.
State Governor Surjit Singh Barnala said at the inauguration of Indian Plastics Exposition (IPLEX 2005) at the Chennai Trade Centre, "In the absence of a scientific method of solid waste management, segregation of recyclable wastes like plastics and other items at source was the only alternative and with Tamilnadu Plastics Manufacturers' Association (TAPMA) extending support to civic authorities, one could expect less of plastic waste as garbage." The Governor said large-scale use of biodegradable plastics would help in preserving nonrenewable resources like petroleum, natural gas and coal besides contributing to waste management. In this regard, he noted that the public and user industry must take appropriate initiatives to recycle plastics. 'Around 65% of plastics are recycled in India. Many SSI units are engaged in recycling and they can improve through upgradation of technology and adoption of new processes', he stated.
'The government is in the process of formulating a National Policy on petrochemicals in order to give a concrete shape to the recommendation of the recently constituted task force,' said Pratyush Sinha, Union Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals. The task force had advocated an increase in the consumption of plastics to about 12 kg per capita by 2010 from the present level of 4 kg, besides identifying measures to strengthen the petrochemicals industry, boost exports and encourage foreign direct investment. There was a growing realisation in the industry to improve the competitiveness of its processes through technology upgradation, he said. 'We would like to support these efforts and a proposal for creating technology upgradation fund on the lines of the existing textile fund has been mooted under the National Policy on petrochemicals,' Sinha said. On the issue of non-biodegradability of plastics and its consequence on ecology, he said, 'it is often overlooked that plastics per se are not harmful as they are recyclable. It is their indiscriminate littering which causes environmental hazards.' He called for collective efforts to educate society to clear the misconception about plastics and effects on ecology.
There was an urgent need to establish 35,000 more plastic processing machines with an investment of around $9.5 billion if India wanted to achieve a consumption of 12.5 million ton by 2010, said Dr Sushil K Verma, director general, CIPET. In global terms, the consumption was expected to reach 250 million tons by that year. Stating plastics had a vital role to play in automobile, IT, infrastructure projects and in the enhancement of agricultural productivity through advanced techniques in micro-irrigation, Verma asked the government to facilitate the usage of plastics by reducing the excise duty (at 16%) and VAT levy (at 12.5%).
(An Association Press Release)