The State Government’s proposed immediate blanket Ban on sales of plastic bags as well as plastic packaging materials and production of such materials in Maharashtra will be adversely felt all around especially by millions of people engaged in the industry such as manufacturers, employees, dealers, consumers including public at large as also by the State’s economy.
To mark their protest against this arbitrary move of banning Plastic, the Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturing Association, other Plastic Associations, dealers and others have taken out a massive Morcha on 23rd February 2018 at Azad Maidan, Mumbai.
The protestors carried placards displaying messages such as Use Plastic Nicely - Dispose It Wisely, Plastic is not Bad - Littering is Bad, Stop Littering, Be A Responsible Citizen, Don’t Litter, Plastic is 100% Recyclable, Make Sure that used Plastic goes in Recycling Chain, Remember The 4 R’s of Plastics: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover
According to Ravi Jashnani, President of Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturing Association, “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 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”.
Mr. Ravi Jashnani said “Our demands are reasonable and are in the interest of all concerned including the State of Maharashtra. It is not that we protest for the sake of protesting. 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 micron, but it is sad that poor implementation of this ban has failed to curtail its usage. Our concerns and demands are:
- To withdraw the Ban/ Order issued on 2nd Jan 2018
- To direct the MPCB to issue license to Manufacturers which they are not doing since last one year.
- Proper Implementation of 50 micron Rules.
- We suggest the State Government to make a team, in which 3 to 4 people will be from Corporations and some people of our Association/ Industry to help them in reducing the menace of thin Plastic bags which are produced/ sold/ or coming from other states to Maharashtra.
- The reason of State Government to put a blanket ban on plastics was because it gets littered and is visible on Roads, Beaches & other public and private places causing harm to environment. However this concern is addressed in Plastic Waste Management (PWM) rule 2016 and its implementation is the solution.
- Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturers’ Association is ready extend its help in setting up Recycling Plants, if small parcels of land are given to them to set up these plants. Such recycled plastic material can be used in Road building, manufacturing benches and other convenient and safe purposes.
- Such a blanket ban would hamper the Clean City project as the plastic bags as also plastic bins which are used to remove road and household garbage would not be made available
- Milk and other essential food products including pharmaceutical products that require longer storage requirements will be seriously affected
- Ban on plastic would also have adverse impact on important sectors like Agriculture, Food Process Units and others including Defense supplying Units.
- Plastic produced in other States would flood the State’s market
- Price escalation on alternate packaging material would increase the load on consumers
- GST collected from Plastic industry would take a drastic fall as the State’s Plastic Manufacturing and marketing units will have to close down
- Unemployment will increase multifold
- We are ready to discuss the feasibility of alternate packaging material if and when proposed by the Government
- Though paper and fabric can be the alternates for plastics; however for paper, more tree cutting will be required and for fabric, it will prove to be the costlier alternate. Instead re-processing of plastic results in electricity generation, fuel alternates etc. Currently over 90% plastic bottles are being re-used and over 60% plastic is being re-processed.
- We request the State Government to give us an opportunity to deliberate all these issues Government if given an opportunity
- Just don’t put a blanket ban on Plastic especially when currently around 20 million tons of plastic is being used in day to day life with over 50000 units engaged in this field and over 4 million people are depending on this industry.
- More than 2000 units are engaged in re-processing of plastic material and providing jobs to over 4 lakh people. The need for Plastic can never be undermined since it is used all sectors of the economy. Though paper and fabric can be the alternates for plastics; however for paper, more tree cutting will be required and for fabric, it will prove to be the costlier alternate. Instead re-processing of plastic results in electricity generation, fuel alternates etc. Currently over 90% plastic bottles are being re-used and over 60% plastic is being re-processed.
Mr. Ravi Jasnani further says “Plastic industry is growing at the rate of 15% per annum and any ban on it may turn out to be fatal for the economy. Ban may result in more dirty roads, higher usage of water. It also may result in un-cleanliness of water. Use of glass bottle may result in more accidents, un-employment and will leave negative impact on GDP growth and also may adversely impact the tourism industry as well”.