Mumbai: With the government proposing to ban single-use plastics from October 2nd, the plastics industry is still waiting for the right definition before planning its course of action.
“We are all eagerly awaiting the definition of single-use plastic. A correct definition needs to outline the thickness of the polyethylene carrier bags, whether or not it is less than 50 microns. We are confident that a proper definition of single-use plastics will soon clear all confusion, ”Jigish Doshi, president of the Plastindia Foundation, told PTI at the biennial industry event.
The foundation is the leading body of the most important associations, organizations and institutions associated with plastics in the country. He said in the meantime, if the ban is implemented without the government defining what single-use plastic means, the industry will definitely be affected and about 5 lakh direct jobs and 50 lakh will be lost. Currently the industry provides around 10 million direct and 100 million indirect jobs, resulting in a loss of 30,000 to 40,000 rupees in sales. He said it should be a gradual process, giving both industry and consumers six months to a year for alternatives to be found.
The plastics industry is around Rs 4 lakh crore and the total consumption is approximately 17.770 billion tons, he said. Meanwhile, Kashi Nath Jha, the joint secretary of the Department of Chemistry and Petrochemicals, said the government had formed a committee to provide clarity on single-use plastics, which directly affect several industries, including consumer products and pharmaceuticals. “My department has already set up a committee and submitted the draft report. We are awaiting comments from other stakeholders, ”he said, without giving a schedule of when the definitions will be published.