Thermoformed packaging has become a hot-button issue worldwide with some calling a ban on products such as punnets, take-away meal trays, cups, egg cartons, lids, etc. But the problem lies in the way these products are disposed of and not because of their existence.
Rigid packaging plays a major role in reducing food wastage and maintaining hygiene. Banning PET thermoformed products disregards their practical functionality, affordability and user-friendliness. Rigid packs are easy and economical to collect for the rag pickers as each pack is in the range of 10 to 30 grams. Advocators of the ban cannot ignore the contribution of thermoformed products in the economic growth of the country.
A majority of market players in clamshell packaging, including the PRIME range of punnets and trays from AVI Global Plast, use up to 80% post-consumer waste with Virgin PET in the contact layers complying with regulatory requirements. It should also be noted that it is possible to process post-consumer PET thermoforms into 2nd and 3rd generation material and products.
A blanket ban on PET thermoformed plastics will only highlight the throwaway societal behavior along with the inefficacious waste management policy of a country. The consequences of this throwaway mentality are grave and can be addressed by creating strict guidelines on how to use, dispose, recover, and recycle plastic products.