Economy

PlastIndia Foundation plans reprocessing units for thin plastic bags

Suresh P. Iyengar Mumbai | Updated on November 17, 2017


PlastIndia Foundation plans to set up demo plants for processing plastic bags of less than two microns in Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai. At present, a few thin plastic bags get recycled as it is not remunerative for rag-pickers to pick them.

Mr Ashok Kumar Goel, President, PlastIndia Foundation, said the first plant with a capacity to process 100 kg an hour will come up in Kolkata with an investment of Rs 2 crore, excluding land cost.

“We are in discussion with the Government in Kolkata to provide land on lease at a concessional rate for three years. We will incentivise rag pickers to collect thin bags by paying Rs 8-10 a kg. They do not pick these thin bags which currently fetch just Rs 3 a kg,” he said.

The Foundation plans to set up similar plants in the National Capital Region and Mumbai. The Foundation intends to transfer the business to budding entrepreneurs in three years after proving that re-processing thin plastic bags can be a profitable business.

Use of thin plastic bags has come under attack by various State governments, accentuating the ‘Say No to Plastic' campaign. Leading shopping malls in Mumbai started charging customers from July for plastic bags, led by RAI (Retailers Association of India) members.

Most of the problems will be settled if the process of recycling thin bags is in place, contended Mr Goel. He noted that a similar situation prevailed when plastic pet bottles were introduced. Now rag pickers are more than willing to collect them as it earns him Rs 17 a kg, said Mr Goel, who is also the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Essel Propack.

Re-processed plastics can be used for various applications in the packaging, construction and automotive sectors. Very few people know that a T-shirt can be made by re-processing 1,000 pet bottles, he explained.

“From electric switches to the life saving IV (intravenous) drugs, plastic is used. Can we really say no to plastic? I feel the campaign should be on ‘Know Your Plastic' to spread awareness on proper use of plastic. Just because a few thin bags are creating problems, we cannot blame the entire industry,” says Mr Goel.

The not-for-profit PlastIndia Foundation comprises seven industry bodies – The All India Plastics Manufacturer's Association, Mumbai; Organisations of Plastic Processors of India, Mumbai; India Plastics Institute, Mumbai; Indian Plastics Federation, Kolkata; Gujarat State Plastic Manufacturer's Association, Ahmedabad; The Plastic Export Promotion Council, Mumbai and Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology, Chennai.

Published on August 07, 2011

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