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Plastic manufacturers look at new options

Manufacturers of plastic carry bags in the district are looking to switch over to making non-woven bags for sustaining operations.

Since there are only a few months left for the ban to be enforced on use of plastic materials for packaging purpose, the units that are involved in manufacture of the low-micron plastic carry bags have begun looking for alternative means of sustaining their business, sources said.

Earlier this year, the State Government announced that the ban on manufacture, sale, storage and use of plastic paper, cups, water sachets, straws and carry bags will come into effect from January 1, 2019, irrespective of their micron size.

The government had explained that the plastic materials in the soil impeded water flow to water bodies, affected flow of sewage, and prevented percolation of rain water into the soil. The local bodies have subsequently warned the public against use of plastic materials with a caution of imposing hefty fines. Since conversion of the process of manufacture is possible with partial modification of the paraphernalia, the proprietors have set their eyes on manufacturing non-woven bags that are increasingly being used in several retail shops, according to industry sources.

The existing printing apparatus could be used for making the non-woven bags. These bags are being made as per customised requirements of grocery shops, vegetable and fruit outlets, and textile showrooms.

In the last one year, loans have been forwarded to five budding entrepreneurs for manufacture of non-woven bags. Loans are to be disbursed for the purpose under NEEDs (New Entrepreneur-Cum-Enterprise Development Scheme), N. Kanagasabapathy, president of Tiruchi District Tiny and Small Scale Industries’ Association, said.

Banks are prepared to fund projects under the scheme since non-woven shopping bags made from biodegradable fibres are much more environmental friendly, sources said.

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