Tamil Nadu bans use of plastics

Protests by trade union members to oppose plastic ban in TN

Some plastic traders, on the other hand, have put up the shutters in protest, demanding more time to find sustainable, cost-effective alternatives to plastic.

The Tamil Nadu government recently announced a ban on the use of plastic items, including non-biodegradable carry bags, effective 1 January 2019. The move comes in the light of a pledge by TN government to gift a plastic-free state to the future generations. The ban includes curb on manufacture, sale, storage and usage of items such as plastic cups, water sachets, straws and carry bags. It would also cover all plastic items irrespective of their micron size.

However, polythene sachets used for packing milk, curd, oil and medical equipment will be exempted from the ban. This is not the first time that the state is banning plastics. It had done so earlier in an attempt to make the state plastic free by the late Jayalalitha.

Thousands of trade union members near Kalaivanar Arangam in Chepauk, Chennai decided to start a rally opposing the ban on plastics and some plastic products. The union alleged that the ban will affect thousands of entrepreneurs involved in small scale production of plastics in the state who already have difficulty in paying back their bank loans. The union also requested the government to postpone the decision until the Central Government takes a policy decision regarding plastic ban to save more than 10 thousand families involved in working in those plastic manufacturing industries and write off the bank loans of the small scale manufacturers.

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.

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