Mumbai: In its urgent plea to Devendra Fadnavis – CM of Maharashtra the Mumbai based ‘Plastic Bag Manufacturers’ Association of India’ (PBMAI) has urged the Maharashtra Government to treat Food Grains and all food items including fruits and vegetables at par with Milk and extend the repository (50 Paise per bag) scheme on them.
“On an average each Maharashtrian uses 650+ plastic bags annually of which over 350 plastic bags are used for packaging edibles including Sugar, Atta, Dal, Vegetables and Fruits, which equally deserve to be exempted as they are as essential as milk. Failure to act immediately will cause untold misery to each and every resident of Maharashtra, especially women. This may not yield commensurate gains to the environment as envisioned by the Plastic Ban Notification” claimed NeemitPunamiya (General Secretary – PBMAI).
He further added “Of the estimated annual 73 Lakh Metric Tons Total Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Generated in Maharashtra Plastic Bags are a miniscule 6,800MT (Maharashtra Pollution Control Board Estimates). Industry estimates put total plastic bags consumed annually inMaharashtra at 33,500 MT. Plastic Bags made by using single polymer are durable, reusable, recyclable and cost effective. Life without Plastic Carry Bags, Kirana Bags, Grocery Bags, Garbage Bags, Ziplock Bags etc… will be very inconvenient. Care full disposal and effective Waste Management by all Urban Local Bodies is the only solution. We fear this ban on Plastic Bags has been necessitated because of ineffective implementation of the 50 Micron norms for Plastic Bags as notified in 2005”.
Over 80,000 people are directly employed by the 2500+ Plastic Bag Manufacturing units based in Maharashtra. Over 2200 of these units have investments from Rs.10 Lakh to less under Rs.2 Crore in plant and machinery. Plastic Bags Manufacturing is a Micro and Small Enterprises Segment and traditionally has had very low operating margins of 5% – 8%. Apart from a total of Rs. 3,800 Crore invested in Plant & Machinery in Maharashtra, the borrowings from banks, receivables and out standings in the market exceed Rs.11,000crores as on today. Current ban on Plastic Bag has made each manufacturer’s life precarious and burdened him with untold risks. The PBMAI has sought a 7-year moratorium period to wriggle out of this situation. Each Plastic Bag Manufacturer will submit a sworn affidavit – detailing their plight on account of the ban on Plastic Bags to the Chief Minister’s office within a few days the release added.