90 days to switch from multi-layer to eco-friendly packaging

A month after enforcing the plastic ban across the state, the Maharashtra state government has decided to expand the scope to bring multilayered packaging under its ambit.

30 Jul 2018 | By Abhishek Muralidharan

Multi-layer packaging will soon join the list of banned plastic products in Maharashtra, reported Times of India on 28 July 2018.

The newspaper referred to a notification issued by the state to multi-layer plastic manufacturers to come up with an eco-friendly alternative in the next three months.

According to Shailesh Nema, vice president and managing director, Michelman India, which manufactures water-based coatings for the flexible packaging industry, it is very challenging for the converters as the span of three months may not be adequate.

Nema said, “The solution lies in designing packaging structure using single polymer family. There are multiple options. Another option is to use paper-foil structure, which is currently mandated for packaging of pan masala, for dry products. Innovation and qualification of newer structures is the only solution. All of us need to exhibit a greater sense of urgency to overcome this challenge. A collaborative effort between brand owners, converters and material supplier will take us there.”

“We at Michelman Innovation Centre for Coatings have developed solutions to make products compliant with the Packaging Waste Management Rules, 2016. These are simple and techno-commercially feasible. Our packaging incubator in Mumbai offers rapid prototyping of ‘greener’ packaging structures,” added Nema.

The state government plans to bring the user companies under the Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) model. It requires the user companies to collaborate and facilitate the collection of plastic waste and final disposal through recycling.

According to a notification issued by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board dated 26 July 2018, the brand owner has to create a separate fund of Rs 25,000 per 1-lakh multi-layered plastic packets. The fund has to be created before 15 August 2018.