'Ban will hurt industries, render 70K jobless'

'Ban will hurt industries, render 70K jobless'

 The proposal to ban the use of plastic bags and other plastic products in the State would render thousands unemployed and affect a number of other sectors dependent on plastic, according to industry.

“There are around 1,000 plastic manufacturing units in the State. The ban on plastic bags and products will leave at least 70,000 people, who are directly or indirectly working in the industry, unemployed," said Vijaykumar, President, Karnataka State Plastic Manufacturers Association.

Besides unemployment, Vijaykumar also pointed out that the move would amount to a huge loss to the State exchequer.

 “The industry contributes to exchequer at least Rs 200 to 300 crores per year as VAT. Also, there are loans worth Rs 2500 to 3000 crores availed by the industry in the State,” added Vijaykumar.
Other industries such as retail, hotel and packaging industry will also be  affected, he added.

Khadar, a store manager at a  super market, said that the government fixed a certain amount of fine on plastic bags below 40 microns. After the ban stores would have to find other costly alternatives, which might be detrimental. While the government wants to ban plastic bags, it has not provided any alternative.

Vimal Sipani from Klenepaks Ltd, a leading plastic manufacturer in the State, said: “Banning is not the right solution when the government is not clear about the options after the ban is enforced. Should we use jute, clothes? This will also lead to huge ecological impacts. We will then need to cut more trees and use more water.”

Yellappa Reddy, environmentalist and former IFS officer, said, “The central point of the entire debate is the fact that plastic is non-biodegradable. Unemployment cannot be brought in as an argument as people can definitely be employed in other sectors.”

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