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Manifold increase in use of perilous plastics

THE HUE and cry against plastics, notwithstanding, its consumption in the country at present stands at seven million tonnes. And the demand is increasing. The country?s automotive sector is a major client. ?By 2008, there will be about four million small and medium cars in the country. The demand for plastics thus is going to increase as it is used in car manufacturing,? said Dr Sushil Kumar Verma, director general of Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET).

india Updated: Sep 13, 2006 01:10 IST

THE HUE and cry against plastics, notwithstanding, its consumption in the country at present stands at seven million tonnes. And the demand is increasing.

The country’s automotive sector is a major client. “By 2008, there will be about four million small and medium cars in the country. The demand for plastics thus is going to increase as it is used in car manufacturing,” said Dr Sushil Kumar Verma, director general of Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET).

Dr Verma spoke to newspersons after attending the national seminar on ‘New Developments in Biodegradable Polymers’ organised by CIPET, Lucknow on Tuesday. “At present wheat, rice and sugar etc are packed in jute bags. Few know that because of the batching oil that is applied to jute bags there is a danger of the packed stuff turning toxic. Plastic bags or woven sacks can provide the answer,” he said. Dr Verma said besides being light, the plastic bags, unlike jute ones, are water resistant too.

And then there is the demand for biodegradable plastics too. “The Delhi Municipal Corporation has asked for biodegradable plastics to be used in plastic film and carry bags. There are other uses too. As Maharashtra government has recognised, plastic mulch films can be very beneficial for agricultural purposes and water conservation,” he added.

Perhaps impressed by the advances made in plastic technology, LU vice chancellor Professor RP Singh who was the chief guest at the seminar announced that LU would soon start MBA in Plastic Technology. “We will also launch new courses like Industrial Chemistry, Fermentation Chemistry too. We will seek CIPET Lucknow’s association in managing the courses,” he added.

Dr Sania Akhtar, chief manager, CIPET, Lucknow said that the city institute was the only one of its kind in south east Asia which offers calibration services.

CIPET Lucknow’s calibration lab is accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (CABL), New Delhi. Calibration is the comparison of an instrument’s performance to a standard of known accuracy.

Experts agree that the benefits of maintaining properly calibrated are multifold.

Dr Vijai Kumar, deputy director, CIPET Lucknow presented a paper on ‘Testing of bio-degradable polymers.’ Dr Kumar told HT that the plastic technology has developed manifold and plastic is being used in areas never heard of before.

Prof GN Mathur from IIT Kanpur spoke about the research being carried out in IIT-K on biodegradable plastics. BK Agarwal, president of UP Plastics Association said with the entry of biodegradable plastics, there was no reason for anyone to fear anything.  Udyan Mukherjee, manager CIPET Lucknow said experts from plastics industry from across the country attended the seminar.