Stop “USING PLASTIC” or Stop “MANUFACTURING PLASTIC ITEMS”

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One of the most important things to understand for answering this question is the consequences of such a step.

To understand this, let us see what entities are involved in plastic creation so we get an idea of what will be affected.

Ø  Indian Plastic industry basically has 2 phases :

A.     Production of raw materials &

B.     Moulding & fabrication of plastic goods.

A.    Production of Raw Materials:

In this steps the 2 sub industries to be affected would be- polymer manufacturing industry(supplying polyethylene, PVC, polypropylene, polysty­rene and acrylics) and the raw material(naphtha, alcohol, calcium carbide, phe­nol and benzene) suppliers for the above industry.

There is a very significant amount of investment in this industry which can't be abruptly left to.

B.    Moulding & Fabrication of plastic goods:

Numerous small scale and large scale industries are involved in this processing. Packaging, household goods, building and construction material, industrial goods and agricul­tural material and numerous other industries have a stake in the end products.

AFFECTING TRADE

India imports plastic polymers from West European countries, Japan and the United States. It also exports plastic goods to neighbouring Asian and African countries. Bans with immediate effect and no warning indirectly destabilize this trade flow.

Opposition from plastic workers:

Plastic industry is very vast and has a plethora of other sub-industries. If other cities, out of the blue, ban plastics without any thought to these plastic workers(as what happened in Karnataka) they would be rendered jobless.

Recently, in response to the complete ban of plastics in Karnataka, many working in the industry conducted widespread protests demanding a rollback of the said ban.

Unlike in Chikmagaluru, the plastic ban in Mangaluru met with strong resistance from plastic manufacturers. Chikmagaluru does not have any plastic industry, whereas Mangaluru has highest number of plastic manufacturers next to Bengaluru. Facing the threat of adverse effect on their business, plastic manufacturers led by Canara Plastics Manufacturers and Traders’ Association approached the High Court and succeeded in bringing a stay – Is that stay is in the public interest or specific manufacturers interest?

Complete Plastic "BAN": Viable Idea?

It is better and even imperative to progress towards better, eco-friendly methods but, before cities across the nation take this step, they have to properly set contingency plans and fallback scenarios. The plastic workers and other employees have to be properly sorted out by making them skilled in the new cotton, jute and other cloth industries coming forward to replace the plastic ones.

It seems like it is due to all the dependencies, the employment generated by this industry among other factors that other cities are reluctant to emulate Karnataka, however noble the gesture maybe.



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