Indian officials urge plastics industry to step up on environment, image

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: December 12, 2013 4:07 pm ET
Updated: December 12, 2013 4:09 pm ET

Avinash Joshi, joint secretary of India Ministry's Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Public Policy, Asia

MUMBAI INDIA — India’s plastics industry needs to do more to address its environmental and image challenges, including considering advertising campaigns and more support of recycling, senior officials in India’s chemicals ministry urged in Dec. 12 speeches at the opening of a large plastics show.

Two top officials in India’s Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers opened the Plastivision show in Mumbai with calls for more action from industry, suggesting that without it visible problems like plastic waste and bags in litter could overshadow the industry’s contributions to society and hurt its growth.

Avinash Joshi, joint secretary of the Ministry’s Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, said plastics In India “have a very negative image. It may be because of ignorance or because of people who litter.”

“We are very passive [as an industry],” Joshi said. “Whenever something negative comes, suddenly we become very active. But we are not on our own active.”

In his speech to delegates at the opening ceremony, Joshi did not detail what actions the industry should take, but in an interview later he suggested more support for recycling and potentially large advertising efforts to communicate the benefits of plastics.

“It’s not only recycling — we need to put up a positive campaign,” he said.

Another official in the ministry, Indrajit Pal, the secretary of chemicals and petrochemicals, echoed Joshi, saying that plastic bags are a very small part of the industry but loom large for the public. Various local governments in India have banned or restricted plastic bags.

He urged the industry to better label what types of resins are used in various products to aid in recycling. He said they are bright spots, such as India’s 50 percent recycling rate for PET packaging.

“I request the plastics industry to be more proactive in this,” he said, regarding environmental issues generally.

Pal was the chief guest speaker at the opening ceremony for the show, which organizers said is expected to draw 100,000 visitors. Plastivision runs from Dec. 12-16 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai.

Officials from the trade group The All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association, which organizes the show, said they set up special pavilions at Plastivision to highlight the contribution of plastics to environmental protection or improving human life.

For example, plastics are heavily used in various water savings applications in agriculture, including drip irrigation equipment, and in creating new medical devices, Kailash Murarka, co-chairman of the show.

Plastivision, which is India’s second-largest plastics show, opened against a background of more economic uncertainty than the last edition in 2011.

The industry’s growth is slowing because of economic problems in India’s economy generally, said Arvind Mehta, chairman of Plastivion’s National Advisory Board.

But he also said that India’s plastics industry continues to grow, nothing that new plastics capacity additions brought on-stream by Indian Oil Corp. were immediately absorbed.


Comments

Indian officials urge plastics industry to step up on environment, image

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: December 12, 2013 4:07 pm ET
Updated: December 12, 2013 4:09 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

NY packaging company aims for zero waste

September 16, 2014 1:36 pm ET

Plastic folding carton maker Diamond Packaging is no longer sending any manufacturing waste to landfills.    More

Image

Latvian plastics recycler Nordic Plast boosts capacity

September 16, 2014 10:15 am ET

Latvian plastics waste recycler Nordic Plast Ltd. has invested more than 2.5 million euros ($3.2 million) to expand capacity and modernize production ...    More

Image

BASF analyzes products based on sustainability potential

September 15, 2014 11:48 am ET

Chemicals giant BASF SE has created a new process for managing its product portfolio based on sustainability criteria.    More

Hungarian recycler launches new unit

September 15, 2014 10:59 am ET

Hungarian plastics recycler Polyter-Mix kft has launched a new 1,400-square-meter production hall at a site in Körösladány in southeastern Hungary.    More

Image

Parx launches production of Saniconcentrates antibacterial polymers

September 12, 2014 11:11 am ET

Parx Plastics has achieved commercial production of its Saniconcentrates-brand line of antibacterial polymers.    More

Market Reports

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook – North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events