India: The emerging environmental concerns have already awakened the people across the globe for taking steps against the prevention of plastic wastes and support the go green movement. Recently in the month of July, Maharashtra government has announced the ban of the use of plastic products, including the single-use disposable plastics. However, the decision of cabinet is welcomed by the environmentalists, it has entertained criticism among the plastic industry since this ban could cost industry Rs.15,000 crore and over 3 lakhs of job. Making out an opportunity out of this decision, Pepsico India has announced that it will work towards recycling and collecting of the PET plastic waste generated across the state. This development will have positive impact in the near future.
The move from Pepsico involves its partnership with the Gem Enviro to set up its manufacturing plant for recycling and collecting PET plastic bottles to match with the state’s plastic waste management regulations. As per the agreement, Gem will set up collection points, reverse vending machines and collection centres for PET waste at various areas within the state. Pepsico India is also planning to set up a consortium for industry players to come together and work for the growth of the plastic waste management infrastructure, via the Indian Beverage Association
It is a prevalent fact that the use of plastics poses major threat to the environment because the discarded plastic waste eventually ends up in oceans or landfills, leading to an untold contamination and damage to the eco-system. Moreover, the growth in the per capita income has changed the lifestyle of people resulting in a demand for convenience for everything, which has resulted in the increase for online goods, packaged foods, etc. These developments, in turn, have given a boost to the packaging industry and use of plastics for the same. Thus, Governments, brand owners and materials suppliers are all working collaboratively on packaging solutions and technologies that address the issue of overcoming the issue of plastic waste.
The major challenge to invest in the eco-friendly plastics that are made of plant fibres is that these substitutes of plastic requires high cost of production, there is thin profit margin involved and also the price of raw materials is fluctuating. In addition to this, poor recycling facilities and the high cost of recycling is also a major problem in order to reduce the use of plastics. However, like Pepsico India, if the major industry players recognise the value and need of the extended producer responsibility towards the government initiative then the problem of plastic wastes might get addressed to some extent.
According to BlueWeave Consulting, the global sustainable or green packaging market has significant growth opportunity in the near future because of the growing awareness for the environment friendly measures & government initiatives to fulfil the goals has led to a demand for a sustainable society. The industry is expected to witness an upsurge in the demand for green packaging in the food & beverage, personal care, and healthcare industries. Edible packaging is also a new trend that is anticipated to gain market penetration over the next few years. Moreover, in 2015, the recyclable packaging segment accounted for a significant share within the global green packaging market.