News

India trade group fighting plastic bag bans

An India-based plastics association is fighting back against anti-plastics legislation.


Print this page

February 9, 2011 by Canadian Plastics

An India-based plastics association is fighting back against anti-plastics legislation.

The Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturers’ Association (MPMA), headquartered in Pune, India, is opposing a series of new rules restricting the use of plastic material for packaging tobacco goods and use of recycled or compostable plastic for packaging food.

According to The Times of India news organization, Bansilal S. Lunkad, president of the MPMA, said the new rules were not a viable option as there was no alternative to plastic. “The plastic material used for packaging tobacco goods is cheap and has a longer shelf life than paper,” he said. “Similarly, food stuffs when packaged in plastic have a longer shelf life. Also, recycled plastic costs less.”  

The MPMA is also contesting a new rule mandating that each plastic carry-bag and multi-layered packaging product carry the name, thickness and registration number of the manufacturer printed on it; also, each recycled carry-bag has to bear the mark ‘recycled’ and confirm to Indian standards. The MPMA is arguing that small plastic manufacturing companies don’t have the printing machines or the required funds and space to set up one.

The Times of India said that province of Maharashtra has approximately 3,000 plastic carry-bag manufacturers, between 60 and 70 of which are in the city of Pune. Between 200 and 250 tons of plastic manufactured in Pune every day, The Times noted.

Anant Sardeshmukh, additional director general Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA), defended the ban on use of plastic as “a good step from the health and environmental perspective,” The Times also said.