Tamil Nadu bans usage of multi layer plastic in primary packaging

The order came into effect on 5 June

Items like biscuits cannot be packaged in plastic anymore Photo: Parle

The Tamil Nadu government has banned multilayer plastic packaging of items even at the manufacturing stage, according to a report by the Press Trust of India. The state government has now repealed the previously granted exemption to manufacturers of packaged food that allowed them to manufacture and distribute their pre-packaged food items like biscuits, chips, etc., in plastic packing material.

The order came into effect on 5 June and appears to be an effort by the state government to augment its plastic ban policy to achieve a plastic pollution-free state. Tamil Nadu had banned single-use plastic items, including water pouches, effective from 1 January 2019 in a government order, but omitted the exemption for “plastic bags which constitute or form an integral part of the packaging in which goods are sealed prior to use at manufacturing/processing units.”

Food processing companies that use plastic for packaging eatables, snacks, etc., will not be able to market their products using plastic packaging. However, among exemptions that continue to be in place include plastic used for packing milk and milk products, oil, medicine, medical equipment, plastic carry bags manufactured exclusively for export orders in a plastic industry located in a Special Economic Zone and Export Oriented Units.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has strongly objected to the ban issued by the Tamil Nadu government. Its senior president S Rethinavelu said no viable and cost-effective alternative has been found for plastic for packaging food products, especially for vacuum packaging for more shelf life, nitrogen blown packaging to maintain crispness of the product and safety, The Times of India reported in a separate report. Chamber president N Jegatheesan said that with no adequate financial resources to erect new machinery amid pandemic, even if an alternative material is found, industries in Tamil Nadu may opt for permanent closure or shift their units to other states.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here