TN move to ban plastics discriminatory: Industry body

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on December 10, 2018 Published on December 10, 2018

‘The selective ban will hit the businesses of small vendors, hawkers, shops, hotels, restaurants, and sweet-shops   -  A Shaikmohideen

The Tamil Nadu Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (TAPMA) has demanded the withdrawal of the State government’s proposed plastics ban from January, stating that the move is discriminatory and will have a negative impact on the lives of about two lakh people, besides causing financial stress to banks.

The association, which represents more than 8,000 small and medium plastic products manufacturing units, criticised the government’s decision to ban single use plastics without proper consultation and discussion with stakeholders or taking into consideration scientific facts.

TAPMA cautioned that the government’s decision, which it said lacked clarity in many aspects, would lead to chaos and harassment of the industries and retailers.

“It is unfortunate that instead of taking a considered decision based on scientific facts, the State government has chosen to announce the ban under Rule 110 in the Tami Nadu Assembly, as a pet project,” said B Swaminathan, Chairman - Environment Committee, TAPMA.

Highlighting the shortcomings in the government order, he said it was discriminatory, allowing the use of plastics in many government departments but banning for use by general public and the private sector.

Plastic bags supplied to government departments of forestry and horticulture are exempt whereas the same plastic bags supplied to cooperatives and private sector or individual farmers are banned.

Also, it bans all forms of plastic packaging including by small retail outlets, grocery shops, whereas the same is permitted for MNCs and FMCG companies. This will hit the businesses of small vendors, hawkers, shops, hotels, restaurants, and sweet-shops, he said.

TAPMA alleged that small units were being penalised. The inability of the government to implement a proper mechanism for segregation and recycling of the used plastics is taking a toll on the small players, whose manufacturing and packaging are approved as safe by the government.

Job loss

The association asserted that the ban would put lives of about two lakh people, who are involved in various processes of plastics manufacturing, at stake.

Since this industry’s manufacturing doesn’t require big skills, the affected people will be mostly poor, with low education and a lot of women.

TAPMA is also preparing to stage a peaceful demonstration on December 13 to protest against the proposed ban.

Published on December 10, 2018
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