A state-wide plastic ban is set to take effect in Tamil Nadu, beginning January 1, 2019.

Plastic ban in Tamil Nadu Plea in HC seeks exemption for polypropylene bagsWikimedia Commons/ User:SandisterTei/ CCBYSA3.0
news Plastic ban Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - 13:31

With just two weeks to go for the plastic ban in Tamil Nadu to come into effect, a group of manufacturers have approached the Madras High Court, seeking an exemption for polypropylene bags.

A division bench of Justice M M Sundresh and Justice Krishnan Ramasamy sought a reply from the Tamil Nadu government on Monday. A batch of petitions has been moved by polypropylene bag manufacturers, including the Tirupur-based E Bags Export.

According to one report in the Times of India, the manufacturers of non-woven polypropylene bags have claimed that it is textile material and not plastic. They have reportedly been classified under the ‘green’ category for textile fabrics.

The petition reportedly states, “It is chemically inert/non-toxic, and its burning does not produce poisonous gases or pollutants. No waste is generated while manufacturing. This fabric’s weak chemical structure leads to easy breakdown of its molecular chain, thereby disintegrating on exposure to sunlight and rainfall in six months.”

Further, the manufacturers have claimed that the bags are fully recyclable and reusable with excellent breathability and also degradable under exposure to sunlight.

According to the newspaper, while the original Government Order on the plastic ban did not mention polypropylene bags, a subsequent change was made on December 8 as part of the government's clarification. The government reportedly said that the bags are banned since they did not degrade naturally.

Earlier, the Tamil Nadu Plastic Manufacturers’ Association (TAPMA) had called the plastic ban 'discriminatory', alleging that while use of plastics in many government sectors and large-scale private sectors continues, the same is banned for the public and in small-scale private sectors.

“The government order bans all forms of plastics packaging including by small retail outlets, grocery shops, whereas the same is permitted for MNCs and FMCG companies. This will hit the businesses of over 200,000 small vendors, hawkers, shops, hotels, restaurants, sweet shops, etc,” TAPMA had said.


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