Days after the state government enforced a ban on the manufacture, sale and use of plastic products in Maharashtra, the All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA) raised strong opposition to it. They said it adversely impacted their business and also the state’s economy as the ban would affect other industries too.
“The government needs to rethink this ban as it will not only impact our business, but also of those affiliated industries that are dependent on the use of plastic,” said Hiten Bheda, AIPMA president.
According to the AIPMA, the plastic ban will result in a loss of Rs 5,000 crore to the plastics industry. It also said at least four lakh people would lose their employment, with 2,150 plastic industrial units shutting down in the state. This will mean a loss of Rs 800 crore to the government in the form of GST revenue.
“Around five million tonnes of plastic is produced in the state every year, catering to around 35 per cent of the state’s GDP. The ban will also paralyse other industries like agro, retail, hotels and restaurants, dairy, and so on, as they are heavily dependent on the use of plastic for their business,” Bheda said.
Stressing that all plastic is recyclable, Akhilesh Bhargava, chairman, environment and recycling committee, AIPMA, said, “The government needs to conduct an environment impact assessment to evaluate the impact of plastic compared to the other alternatives. The ban has been implemented arbitrarily, without any study.”
The AIPMA intends to persuade the government to withdraw the ban, failing which they propose to take the legal route. “We hope to convince the government soon. The court will be our final resort,” Bhargava said.
The association stressed that plastic itself was not a problem, but littering was the real issue that needed to be addressed.
Ravi Jashnani, president of the Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturers Association, said monetising plastic waste was the only solution for dealing with it. “We need to address the plastic waste issue by implementing the Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016. As an association, we are willing to buy back all the plastic and recycle it. We have already set up a plant in Pune. We only want the government to provide us land for recycling, as transportation of the waste will involve additional costs,” he said.