India generates 6K tonnes ‘single-use’ plastic waste every day; Alternative Paper Products are going to invite huge Capacities in Paper Industry

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Find the news on Government's upcoming Ban on Single-Use Plastic and its impact on Paper Making Industry.

India Generates 6K tonnes ‘single-use’ Plastic Waste Every Day; Alternative Paper Products are going to invite huge Capacities in Paper Industry

New Delhi | 2nd September | The Pulp and Paper Times:

Last week, The Pulp and Paper Times participated in ‘Pack Plus’ exhibition at New Delhi, one out of four visitors from every corner of India, was looking for a paper carry bag, paper pouches, paper cup, and pulp molded kitchenware products making machine. People want to set up a paper carry bag, paper pouches or paper cup making machine at the earliest to explore the single-use plastic eradication from 2nd October.

But the big question arises, the shortage of paper like paper cup stock, virgin grade paper for straw and quality kraft paper for paper bag manufacturing, is hovering around. We have fewer capacities to meet the 6,000 tonnes single-use plastic waste every day.

“Certainly, the Golden period for Paper Industry has come up, and we need to work on the installation of new capacities rapidly. E-Commerce companies, Traders and Corporate have committed to pursue the Government’s dedication to ban the single-use plastic. India could soon ban six single-use plastic products from Oct 2,” a paper industry expert said.

“The ban will be comprehensive and will cover manufacturing, usage, and import of plastic bags, cups, plates, small bottles, straws and certain types of sachets. It will also ask e-commerce companies to cut back on plastic packaging. The ban on the first six items of single-use plastics will clip 5% to 10% from India's annual consumption of about 14 million tonnes of plastic,” an official said.

Traders' body, The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) in an open letter, urged corporates and manufactures to amend their respective production lines to discontinue the use of single-use plastics before 2nd October.

The body urged companies operating in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), consumer durables, daily use items, drugs and medicines, and packaging sectors to discontinue using single-use plastic in their packaging.

There are about seven crore traders across the country of which about five lakh traders work as distributors of FMCG products having more than 30 lakh retailers in the country. Any boycott of such products on a pan India basis is likely to disrupt sales of corporate manufacturers significantly.

The most recent entrant to the plastic ban club is state-run Air India, which has prepared an action plan to stop single-use plastic onboard its flight. Except for two flights across its network, the national carrier plans to replace individual-sized 200 ml water bottles with larger 1,500 ml water bottles in all its flights. "Plastic teacups will be replaced with sturdy paper cups. Banana chips and sandwiches are presently packed in a plastic pouch, which will be changed to butter paper pouches," Air India said in a statement.

In the last week of August, the global hospitality major Marriott International said that it is phasing out miniature bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel in favour of larger, pump-topped bottles at its 7,000 properties worldwide by December 2020.

“They (e-commerce companies) are the ones creating all this waste, so the onus of recycling it has to be put on them as well,” said environment secretary CK Mishra, without confirming whether the government was indeed proposing to ban single-use plastics. “It’s all about the reduction of waste, and then, they gradually need to move towards alternative packaging.” 

Last Thursday, Walmart-owned Flipkart said it had already reduced the use of single-use plastic by 25% and has set a target of using 100% recycled plastic by March 2021.

The homegrown etailer has also filed for an extended producer responsibility (EPR), aiming to collect back 30% of the waste it generates in the first year.

 EPR is a policy approach where producers are responsible for treating or disposing of waste after the sale of products.

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