Polythene and plastics recyclers said they fully endorse and support the move by the government to ban the use of polythene less than 20 microns which came into effect from September 1.

Secretary General, National Forum for Post Consumer Plastic Waste Management A.S.Illiyas said “We are for the ban of low micron polythene, plastics and other non recyclable material which is harmful to the environment.”

“Measures of this nature will help protect the environment from pollution and spread of disease,” he said. The ban on polythene less than 20 microns comes along with a penalty of Rs. 10,000 and a two-year imprisonment for violators. “We recommend that the weight be increased to 40 microns which is the ideal level for recycling. Polythene less than 20 microns cannot be recycled as it is not viable,” Illiyas said.

Experts said that manufacturers can increase the weightage and protect the industry. However, polythene manufacturers have called upon the government to revisit the ban as it would be at a huge price to the country.

Polythene manufacturers said that they would have to spend large sums of money to import material to meet the 40 micron need.

“The decision to ban polythene will hurt the industry badly with added burden on consumers,” a polythene manufacturer said. – LF

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