BY MINI PANT ZACHARIAH, in Mumbai MAJOR Indian food industry associations have attacked the Indian government plan to ban single use plastics across India by 2022.

Dr Subodh Jindal, president of New Delhi based All India Food Processors’ Association, believes that a ban on single-use plastic will impact the food industry more than any other. He told just-food, “Let us not ridicule the good work plastic has done for the food industry. It has helped reach food products and beverages to consumers in a hygienic way.”
He added that it has taken the industry 25 years to develop technology of safe plastic packaging. It will take at least five years if not more to develop an alternative. Banning single use plastic will raise the cost of making food products, increasing consumer prices, he said. He added that while the (Indian) food industry was on the same page with the government on the environmental impact of plastics, the onus of finding cost-effective alternatives should rest with the government.
Rajendra Khandelwal, general manager marketing and business development of Mumbai-based Packaging Industries Association of India, told just-food that banning single use plastic is “practically not possible”. Mr Khandelwal said: “Government should not put a blanket ban without the availability of an alternative cheap packaging material.” He added that while some substitute packaging materials are available, the high cost will adversely affect small-and-medium sized food manufacturers as well as consumers.