The Plastic Bag Manufacturers Association of India (PBMAI) has alleged that the state government is favouring multinationals and asked for a 90-day window on par with multi-layer packaging and plastic bottles before implementing the ban on plastic bags.
"We have urged the government to withdraw the ban on plastic bags and grant us also a 90-day window on par with multi-layer packaging and plastic bottles," PBMAI general secretary Neemit Punamiya told reporters here. Punamiya alleged that the recent notification issued by the government is very selective and favours multinationals and completely impairs the small and micro enterprises.
Multi layered packaging, which is not 100 per cent recyclable and is being extensively used in packing day-to-day FMCG products along with plastic bottles and e-businesses, have been given a three month window to come up with a plan for EPR (extended producers responsibility).
"The government has succumbed to the pressure exerted by foreign consulates and embassies on behalf of MNCs," Punamiya said, adding the PBMAI is finalising its post consumer recycling feasibility report and will submit it to the government in August.
It claimed that if allowed to implement its EPR, they will recycle almost cent per cent of plastic carry bags consumed in the state and will work towards making it the country's first less than 50 micron plastic bag free state.
Harpal Singh Arora, president of PBMAI, said that if paper carry bags are used to replace all plastic carry bags, then an estimated 90,000 tonne of paper will be required as about 350 crore paper bags will have to be made available.
This is in line with global studies published by the United Nations and the European Union which conclude that seven paper bags are required to replace one plastic carry bag (which is used multiple times).
Arora said paper bags due to their shorter life span, limited carrying capacity and four times the cost of plastic carry bags, are more detrimental to the environment.