Sustainable approach spur growth in plastics industry

Sustainable approach can spur growth in plastics industry

11:54 AM, 22nd January 2016
Sustainable approach can spur growth in plastics industry
The sustainable choice organised by FICCI, it is a conference on plastic packaging. (File photo)

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Plastic recycling can offer twin benefits of solving the problem of plastic waste menace and providing wide range of business opportunities, according to experts at the conference on ‘Plastic packaging: The sustainable choice’, organised by FICCI on January 2016 in New Delhi.

Plastics are chemically inert substances and they do not cause either environmental or health hazards. If plastics can be collected and disposed off or recycled as per laid down guidelines/rules then the issue of plastic waste can be suitably addressed.

In fact, experts believe, there is wide scope for industries based on re-cycling of plastics waste. “The recycling industry can play to make the sector sustainable. The industry should focus on R&D and innovations for growth,” said Prabh Das, chairman, FICCI National Petrochemical Committee, and MD & CEO of HPCL-Mittal Energy Limited.

Though plastics offer manifold benefits, they are invariably branded as a polluting material. To change this perception, the industry has to adopt sustainable approach to manufacturing and handling end-of-the-life plastic products.

“The growth of the industry must come with greater realisation of and increased attention to the safety, health and environmental standards. The industry in the coming decades has to promote sustainable development by investing in technologies that protects environment and stimulates growth while balancing economic needs and financial constraints,” said K K Seksaria, president, PlastIndia Foundation.

According to Samir Kumar Biswas, joint secretary from the department of chemicals and petrochemicals, Government of India, there is a need for the industry to adopt a holistic approach so that the growth is achieved in a very sustainable manner taking into account the environmental protocols.

For the success of Make in India campaign in plastics industry, manufacturers will have to pay equal importance to innovation and cost-competitiveness.

“Manufacturers should upgrade their technology to become more competitive and the government should to lend support for this. The industry also needs to think about building scale in order to realise economies of scale and has to focus on innovation,” said Bhaskar, president, organisation of plastics processors of India (OPPI), and MD & CEO of XPRO India Ltd.

Stating that the plastics industry plays an important role in facilitating national food security through plasticulture (i.e., usage of plastics in agriculture) and packaging, Vinay Mathur, deputy secretary general, FICCI, said, “The industry faces challenges such as lack of infrastructure and skilled manpower, which are being overcome by the various policies such as setting up of plastics parks and skills program.”

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