About three lakh people are directly and indirectly connected to the plastic industry.
Mumbai: Plastic manufacturers and related industries have demanded that the ban on plastic be postponed by seven years as it is likely to affect three lakh people in terms of livelihood.
According to them, the statewide ban on plastic bags has caused misery for grain merchants, grocery stores, fruit and vegetable sellers, bakeries, and the readymade garments industry. Officials representing grain dealers, bakeries and the readymade garments industry said that the ban had hit production, packaging and supply schedules.
Lalit Gandhi, vice-president, Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, “Many units are on the verge of closure in the absence of basic packaging material i.e. plastic bags. We have sought a waiver on banning packaging material till alternatives are identified and made available.”
About three lakh people are directly and indirectly connected to the plastic industry. They now have debts to the tune of rs 13,000 crore just to run their business. They are likely to face huge losses due to the ban, said Neemit Punamiya, general secretary, Plastic Bag Manufacturers’ Association of India (PBMAI).
In Mumbai alone, over 680,000 readymade garments cannot be exported due to non-availability of transparent plastic bags for packaging, claimed Rajesh Masand, chairman, Clothing Manufacturers’ Association of India.
K.P. Irani of the Indian Bakers’ Association said, “Moving from paper packaging to plastic enabled the bakery industry to thrive and add a wide variety of products and serve
distant customers. Now we are back to square one. The shelf-life of all baked items will be shortened and their mobility curtailed.”
Items including masala, dry fruit, clothes and grains cannot be packed and ferried in paper bags. Hence, the ban on plastic is not viable, said Ramnik Cheddha, president, Bombay Grain Dealers’ Association.