Spooked By PM Modi’s Plastics Ban, Companies In India Seek Clarity And Exemptions

Spooked By PM Modi’s Plastics Ban, Companies In India Seek Clarity And Exemptions

A ban on single-use plastic will be imposed from October 2 this year, which has prompted the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), an industrial lobby group to urge the government to conduct a consultation with industries on finalising the items to be banned and items to be exempted
News, Plastic Waste
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Spooked By PM Modi's Plastics Ban, Companies In India Seek Clarity And ExemptionsIn his Independence Day speech on August 15, PM Modi urged people and government agencies to work towards making India free from single-use plastic

New Delhi: Companies in India will seek exemptions from the government’s planned ban on certain plastic items, fearing the move will disrupt supply chains and raise costs ahead of a festive season, according to sources and an industry document seen by Reuters. India is likely to impose a nationwide ban on plastic bags, cups, small bottles, straws and some types of sachets next month as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s efforts to reduce use of pollution-causing, single-use plastic.

Also Read: The Less We Use Plastic, The Better For Us, Nature, Air And Water, Says Vicky Kaushal

But the plans have stoked fears among consumer firms, which, use plastic in packaging for everything from sodas and biscuits to ketchup and shampoo. “This has created an existential issue for multiple sectors,” said the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a lobby group, in a two-page draft note, seen by Reuters, which is likely to be finalised and sent to the government in the coming days.

The CII will ask the government to consult the industry executives and define what will be categorized as single-use plastics, while also pitching for some exemptions, according to the note.

It says small-sized plastic bottles used for pharmaceutical or health products should be exempted as there is no alternate available. Sachets made from so-called multi-layered packaging should also not be banned, as that could disrupt supplies of key products such as biscuits, salt, and milk, the CII draft says.

Also Read: ‘The World Must Bid Goodbye To Single Use Plastic’: PM Modi Takes Forward The Campaign Against Plastic At UN Meet

A senior Indian government official said several industry representations were being reviewed, but the aim was to “get rid of the menace of plastic pollution” without causing disruption.

In an Independence Day speech on August 15, PM Modi urged people and government agencies to “take the first big step” on Oct. 2 towards freeing India of single-use plastic.

India lacks a system for management of plastic waste, but environmentalists have hailed PM Modi’s move, saying it will help combat plastic waste that chokes rivers and drains.

Also Read: Say No To Plastics: Government Looks To Junk Plastic Water Bottles

A ban on certain plastics from October 2, however, will come just weeks ahead of big Hindu festivals for which business plans are laid out far in advance because they typically see a sharp rise in consumer purchases.

Two industry sources said Amazon.com Inc, which uses plastics in its packaging has been concerned that a possible ban could disrupt its operations ahead of festivities, and during its mega annual discount sale that starts Sept. 29.

In recent weeks, executives from Coca-Cola Co, PepsiCo and consumer goods seller Hindustan Unilever have been part of industry delegations that met government officials to express concerns and discuss alternate packaging solutions, according to a person with direct knowledge.

Coca-Cola said in a statement that all its primary packaging does not consist of single-use plastic. Pepsi said its target was to make 100 percent of its packaging recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable by 2025. Hindustan Unilever did not respond to a request for comment.

Amazon did not respond but has previously said that it plans to replace single-use plastic in its packaging by June 2020. Jayesh Rambhia of All India Plastic Manufacturers Association, which has 22,000 companies as members,

The ban has ramifications for all sectors like food processing, dairy, garments, toys. People and companies are pulling their hair today.

Also Read: “Single-Use Plastic To Be Banned In A Phased Manner”: Ram Vilas Paswan

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

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