Sing a song of single use

Can we just wish away the vital role of single-use plastic?


In his 73rd Independence Day address, Prime Minister Modi announced: “The time has come for people to say goodbye to single-use plastics.” Since then, the bureaucracy, institutions, and social activists have been singing the benefits of eliminating single-use plastic (SUP). However, in our haste to condemn single-use packaging, can we ignore its vital role as a market force? The inevitable reaction to the clamor for the ban on single-use plastics has been skepticism and disbelief from the plastics and packaging industry. It is hard to imagine modern society without single-use plastics. It would need a fundamental transformation in the way we go about our daily lives. The way discussions have been going around in circles within the packaging industry reminds me of that famous song by Harry Belafonte, There’s a Hole in the Bucket, Dear Liza. To paraphrase the song, broadly: There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, Go fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, With what shall I fix it? Dear Liza, With a straw dear Henry, But the straw is too long,…

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An engineering graduate from BITS, Pilani and a Post-Graduate Diploma from Milan, Italy in Human Factors Engineering. Over 40 years of work experience in branding, packaging design & development. Worked as Head of Packaging at Oriflame – Silver Oak; Dabur India and Ranbaxy Laboratories. Currently - an Associate with The Packaging Consortium – a packaging development consultancy. Worked closely with Jindal Polymer Films for Application Development of Specialty Films for flexible packaging. Now a packaging consultant for some reputed companies. He is also an Associate Director with Firstouch Solutions – a design company providing services in Brand Comm, Packaging, Exhibitions and Branded Retail Environments. He is closely associated with the Indian Institute of Packaging as a Member of the Northern Regional Committee. He is also active as a contributor to Packaging South Asia magazine and other journals and at forums and conferences. Has been writing articles on packaging design and marketing for Packaging South Asia since 2007.