Single-Use Plastic Ban: MSMEs to face hardship, says AIMA
The nationwide ban on single-use plastic has come into effect from today, even after the request made by the industry associations to extend the date and not to put a blanket ban. The Union Environment Ministry had said that the government will be initiating an enforcement campaign against the units engaged in production, distribution, stocking and sale of such items.
National President and Founder of All India MSME Association Avinash K. Dalal said that after the imposition of single-use plastic ban, it will be a huge challenge for small and medium business to start a new business or switch to alternatives.
Speaking to Opportunity India, Dalal said, “The small and medium businesses will be stopped resulting in the large amount of unemployment. Now there is cut-throat competition in the market, so it will be very difficult for small and medium businesses to start a new one. Semi-skilled and skilled workers will face huge difficulty in getting another job as they are only trained in making plastic objects.”
He said that the decision taken by the central government to ban plastic items will largely affect these small and medium businesses and it will be main reason for increased unemployment. “Entrepreneurs will face hardship due to this move,” he added.
Dadlal also pointed out the financial issued related to the ban and said that businessmen who have taken loans from banks will not be able to repay it.
“Many banks will witness loss as businesses who have taken the loan will turn bad debts,” he said.
When asked about that many entrepreneurs are prepared for the switch, he said that it is easy for big organisation to switch but those who run small manufacturing units it will be very difficult for them. “I think there are very few who are prepared for the ban. Starting something new is difficult as all the machinery has to be changed for the new product,” he added.
He said that MSME Ministry should come forward in helping these businesses and provide technical know-how.
“The MSME Ministry should provide technical know-how on the existing machinery so that businesses can shift to alternatives easily,” he said.
As many small businesses are on the verge of closing due to plastic ban, there are some small and medium enterprises who had foresighted the decision and started working on the mission to reduce the use of single-use plastic.
One such first is Snitch—an online men’s clothing brand has already working towards the sustainability despite the common belief the fashion cannot be environment-friendly.
The brand use organic cotton to produce product and has recently launched a product which is made of 100 per cent organic fabric.
Tasking about the packaging, founder, Snitch Siddharth R Dungerwal said, “Almost 20-30 per cent of our packaging is plastic-free and we are working towards to make it 100 per cent plastic free.”
Meanwhile, Nectar Fresh founder Chayaa Nanjappa said that we are prepared for the plastic ban and we have been working for sustainable and eco-friendly measures for five years.
“I think the single-use plastic ban will not affect the businesses those who are already into the sustainable and eco-friendly products. We started working towards the eco-friendly packaging five years ago when everyone was using PVC. Whenever I travel abroad not only I observe the quality of the product the other countries have maintained by I also see the packaging of that product,” she said.
Meanwhile industry giants like Dabur and Parle have producing and importing paper juice packs and straws respectively.
According to the Dabur India, the company has begun producing Real juice packs with integrated paper straws and now the fresh stock will be available in the market with paper straws.
Accordingly, Beverage maker Parle Agro has started importing paper straws in compliance with India’s new rules. However, imports remain “staggered”. India has a constraint when it comes to the manufacturing of paper straws, and as a result, companies are relying on imports to meet demand.
Earlier, many companies sought an extension on the ban, citing supply disruptions and costs in switching to paper straws. However, the government said ample time has been given and it will not take down the ban.