The Packaging Association for Clean Environment (PACE) and All India Association of Natural Mineral Water Industries have sought removal of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles of less than 200ml from the proposed list of single-use plastic items identified by the Central Pollution Control board (CPCB) to be banned, sources told CNBC-TV18.
The government's proposed ban on single-use plastic has got the industry on the edge. The CPCB has identified 12 single-use plastic items to be initially banned. These items include thin carry bags, non-woven carry bags, small wrapping, straws, plastic cups, bowls & plates, plastic sticks for earbuds, balloons & flags, cigarette butts, small plastic bottles, thermocol and thin roadside banners. This initial list has been drawn up from a larger 64 single-use plastic items' list.
According to the sources, the government and the CPCB have asked the industry for its views, seeking both alternatives, as well as modifications to the proposed list.
Based on this, PACE and All India Association of Natural Mineral Water Industries, which represent the views of top beverage makers, bottled-water manufacturers and companies engaged in recycling of PET, submitted their suggestions, saying that PET is not single-use plastic and is 100 percent recyclable, said the sources, who did not want to be named.
Alternatives like paper bottles and aluminium cannot replace PET owing to affordability issues. Alternatives like glass can leave a huge carbon footprint, the associations said.
The small bottle segment is a critical one for the PET industry as it makes up about 40 percent of PET consumption in India. India consumes PET resin across segments. About 25 percent of PET resin is used for bottled water, 20 percent for aerated beverages/juice, 11 percent for personal care, 10 percent for liquor and 9 percent for pharmaceuticals. Polyester fibre, strap and sheet producers are also dependent on the PET ecosystem.
The industry has suggested the need to formulate standards for compostable bottles for drinking water. Units manufacturing these compostable bottles should be given special incentive as well, it suggested.
The associations also pointed at the need for a new standard for plastic bottles containing recycled PET. The EU follows a similar model, where it recycles PET bottles into new PET bottles to reduce the use of virgin plastic, noted the All India Association of Natural Mineral Water Industries.
First Published: IST