"While plastic consumption per person is 9.7 kg in India, the figure is 109 kg per person in the US. Over 10,000 MSMEs are engaged in the plastic industry in Gujarat. An institution dedicated to research and study in plastics is on the way. Gujarat is one of the largest producers of plastics in the country with an investment of Rs 1,400 crore. MSMEs have received a policy push in the Budget 2018-19," Rupani said.
33 lakh persons have been employed in the state plastics industry. An additional 30 lakh jobs are expected to be created. Considering the immense potential, the Gujarat government has formulated a dedicated policy for this sector, the Chief Minister said.
The Energy Minister Saurabh Dalal said: "A Plastindia International University will be set up in Vapi on 50 acres of land and offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses."
The state chief secretary JN Singh, who was present at the inaugural ceremony, said: "80% of the plastic manufacturing units across Gujarat are MSMEs which create jobs. To fuel the industry further, we've announced the establishment of a specialised institution for plastic engineering and technology.
Meanwhile MP Taparia, the chairman of the National Advisory Board of PlastIndia Foundation said, "The Indian plastic industry will continue to grow above 8-10%. To keep the growth rate consistent, the industry needs an additional capacity of 1.25-1.5 million tonne every year which is often difficult to achieve." He added, "The domestic polymer consumption is expected to double by fiscal 2028 to 30 metric tonnes, according to industry estimates, which makes the expansion of manufacturing capacity all the more vital. "Packaging, electronics, agriculture, automotive and healthcare sectors are expected to record high growth volumes."
Estimates of Plastics Export Promotion Council (Plexconcil) indicate that despite good growth, India's plastic exports account for less than 1% of global exports. "Global plastic exports are worth USD 850bn while India's exports stood at a meagre USD 7.5bn in fiscal 2016-17," said Sribash Dashmohaptra, the executive director of Plexconcil.
Industry representatives said that state governments and the Centre should draft industry-friendly policies to help boost exports. "In 2016, China exported plastics worth USD 138 bn while India only achieved USD 6 bn. To push exports, we request the Centre and states to become facilitators," Taparia said. "We need suitable government policies and we do hope the GST Council will consider a low tax rate for the sector."
India as a plastic packaging destination
Today, India is the 7th largest plastics manufacturing base in the world. With an investment of USD 2 trillion in infrastructure in the industry, 90 million jobs are expected to be created in the next decade.
More than 150 countries import plastics from India. By 2020, India is expected to become the third largest plastic consumer in the world, with a doubling of consumption of plastic packaging in five years.