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Mumbai plastic ban: Allow us to use carry bags weighing 20g, demand manufacturers

Plastic manufacturers want the Maharashtra government’s permission to make plastic bags weighing 20g and more, or ban multi-layer packaging.

mumbai Updated: Jul 06, 2018 15:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai plastic ban,Plastic manufacturers
Plastic manufacturers allege that the state is favouring FMCG companies, which use multi-layer packaging commonly.(HT File Photo/Used for representational purpose)

Terming the relaxation for multi-layer packaging as “favour for multinational companies”, plastic manufacturers want permission to make plastic bags weighing 20g and more or ban multi-layer packaging.

Multi-layer packaging means material used to package, with at least one layer of plastic, in combination with one or more layers of paper, paper board, polymeric materials, metallised layers or aluminium foil. The combination, which makes some of them non-recyclable, is used by FMCG companies to package branded snacks, shampoo sachets, wrappers, toothpaste tubes and other products.

In its notification issued on July 2, the state environment department has asked FMCG firms to stop manufacturing non-recyclable multi-layer packaging. However, it has no knowledge of what kind of wrappers and packets come under this category, and has asked the firms to prove that they use recyclable packaging.

HT had on July 4 reported that the state is unclear on what comes under non-recyclable multi-layer packaging. “The notification favours multinational firms. FMCG firms have been given three months to come up with a plan for Extended Producers Responsibility. The state has succumbed to the pressure exerted by foreign consulates and embassies on behalf of MNCs,” said Neemit Punamiya, general secretary, Plastic Bag Manufacturers Association of India (PBMAI). “We want the government to allow plastic carry bags up to 20g in weight. The material used for such bags will be between 100microns and 200microns, depending on its size. Such bags will be used multiple times and ragpickers, too, will earn more from it. This will easily stop littering.”

Jagannath Kamath, who runs a plastic recycling plant at Mulund, said, “Mono-layer plastic can be recycled, but not multi-layer.”

Viran Shah, president, Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association (FRTWA), said, “If the state is serious about environment protection, they should have banned multi-layer packaging.” P Anbalagan, member secretary of MPCB, said the proposal to allow 20g of plastic carry bags was discussed and rejected in the expert committee and later in the empowered committee meeting formed by the state to take decisions on the ban.

Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is receiving letters from traders seeking clarity on the changing stand.

First Published: Jul 06, 2018 11:46 IST