Banning the use of single-use plastics: Which products and industries will be impacted? -Business Today

2021-11-25 11:12:33 By : Ms. Joey Liu

The industry's response to the issue of the imminent ban on the use of single-use plastics has been mixed. Although no one wants to sound critical, at least on the record, one link that runs through is the uncertainty of how the government wants to define single-use plastics. The following is the content collected by "Business Today":

Disposable plastics are often referred to as disposable plastics (understand them as products designed to withstand single use, such as sachets). These are used for packaging, including items that are only used once. For example, the European Union describes "disposable plastic" as plastic products, such as cotton swabs, tableware, plates, straws, balloon sticks, cups, food, beverage containers made of polystyrene, and products that are oxidatively degradable plastics.

The industry has given different definitions. "We consider 100% recyclable materials with a thickness greater than 50 microns and a recycled content of at least 20% as non-disposable plastics," said an Amazon India spokesperson. This means that plastics smaller than 50 microns and recycled content of less than 20% can be made into disposable plastics.

Also read: Infographic: The era of disposable plastics has arrived

Which products are made of disposable plastic?

The most common disposable plastics are handbags, plastic beverage bottles, plastic bottle caps, food packaging paper, plastic food bags, plastic bags, consumer plastic packaging paper, multi-layer packaging used for food packaging (such as potato chip packages), straws And blenders, other types of plastic bags and foam takeaway containers. The main polymers used in the production of disposable plastics are HDPE, LDPE, PET, PP, PS and EPS.

How big is the plastics industry?

Hiten Bheda, Chairman of the Environmental Committee of the All India Plastic Manufacturers Association, stated that the annual revenue of the Indian plastics industry in FY19 was Rs 350,000. This is distributed among 50,000 processing units, most of which are small and medium enterprises. It is one of the fastest growing industries in India because it believes that its wealth is closely related to the growth of all other industries. According to Bheda, these units consume about 22 million tons of plastic raw materials each year, including recycled plastics (about 8 million tons of recycled plastics). Bheda said that in addition, a part of the total amount of plastic raw materials is also exported-about 4.5 billion U.S. dollars in fiscal year 2019, while exports of processed plastic products are about 6.5 billion U.S. dollars. Regarding the share of single-use plastics, he said that although the exact share of single-use plastics is difficult to estimate, it may be less than 10% of the total processed 50,000 plastics.  

Which industries use disposable plastics?

Fast moving consumer goods companies; manufacturers of air conditioners, refrigerators, and other consumer appliances; e-commerce; hospitality; and restaurants. In addition, small retail store owners and grocery stores use disposable plastic for product delivery.

What are the alternatives to disposable plastics?

There are alternatives such as glass, paper and cardboard. However, they can also have a significant impact on the environment. Although paper means cutting down trees, glass leaves a significant carbon footprint and consumes a lot of electricity. Other factors to consider are recycling rates, safety, weight, transportability and affordability. In addition, some product alternatives are not clear. For example, many people in the industry do not know of any direct alternative to BOPP film. This film has high transparency and is considered a good moisture barrier, so it is used to cover products.  

How many states have banned the use of single-use plastics?

Although most states (about 18 states) have banned the use of plastic handbags, certain states such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, and Madhya Pradesh have also banned “one-time use and Throw away plastic items" such as cutlery, plates, cups, straws, etc.

Also read: Banning single-use plastics is not enough, waste management is equally important

Also read: The Modi government will ban the use of plastic bags, cups and straws nationwide on October 2nd: report

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