‘PET bottle, which is an alternative of milk pouches would prove expensive’

Neha Basudkar
Sunday, 7 April 2019

“Milk manufacturers will have to buy new machinery for making the PET bottles and phase out the existing ones, which would in turn be a costly affair,” Kutwal added.

Pune: To discuss the feasibility of PET bottles (Polyethylene Terephthalate Bottles) replacing polythene milk bags, a meeting of industry representatives was recently organised by the Milk Producers and Processors Welfare Association.

Switching to PET, as an alternative to plastic bags, would not only require more usage of plastic during production but would also increase the cost to be borne by the user. 

President of The Milk Producers and Processors Welfare Association Prakash Kutwal told Sakal Times that since the State government has to follow the Model Code of Conduct due to the Lok Sabha elections, they are not able to conduct any meetings with the association to figure out alternatives to plastic milk pouches. 

Therefore, recently, the members of the association had a meeting with Reliance Industries Limited and Sunrise Containers Ltd. to find out the alternatives and the overall cost of manufacturing it (from manufacturers and customers’ point of view).

Kutwal said, “Since Reliance and Sunpet are into manufacturing plastic granules and high-quality PET Preforms respectively, they gave us the idea of what could be the cost if milk bags are replaced with PET bottles. Currently, it takes 70 to 80 paise to manufacture a milk bag which can store one litre of milk and if they are replaced with PET bottles, it will cost Rs 4 for each bottle. Therefore, the cost will go up and the consumer will suffer.”

“Milk manufacturers will have to buy new machinery for making the PET bottles and phase out the existing ones, which would in turn be a costly affair,” Kutwal added.

Shripad Chitale, partner of Chitale Dairy and member of the association, said, “If we opt for PET bottles, then the volume of plastic content in it will increase. Currently, plastic used in making milk pouch is 5 gm and to manufacture PET bottles, 20 gm of plastic for each bottle will be used. This will also increase the cost of production and storage can be a problem for some.” 

Recycling - the best option 
Shripad Chitale of Chitale Dairy said that instead of PET bottles, the buy-back collecting system of milk packets is a good option. “If societies and individuals give the milk pouches to the rag pickers and it is recycled on a daily basis, then the whole issue of plastic milk bag will be solved and it wouldn’t be a costly affair to any person (right from manufacturer to consumer) as well.” Chitale said.
 

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