Plastic packaging wholesalers in Pune on strike

Neha Basudkar
Tuesday, 27 March 2018

20 lakh people may lose jobs after 8,000 manufacturing units are shut down

Pune: With the State government's decision to ban plastic, close to 20 lakh persons directly or indirectly dependent on manufacturing and packaging industry face losing their jobs with 8,000 manufacturing units located in Pune, Mumbai particularly in Ulhasnagar, Aurangabad and Nashik likely to close down.

Wholesalers in Pune went on strike and have closed their shops since Sunday, protesting against the government's decision to ban plastic material including bags, glasses and other material. 
Nitin Patwa, Joint Secretary of Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturers Association informed Sakal Times that the monthly turnover of this industry is close to Rs 600 crore. This has created a negative impact on 150 wholesalers in the city located in Raviwar Peth and Hadapsar. Around 15 to 20 shops in Raviwar Peth are closed since March 25. 

The State government issued a notification on March 23 regarding the plastic ban. 

When Sakal Times visited Raviwar Peth where several plastic wholesale shops are located, the lull in the market was evident. Nirav Shah, wholesaler and trader of plastic bags and disposable material said that currently, he has stock worth Rs 20 lakh and sells material worth Rs 5 lakh per month. Shah claimed he is in deep trouble as he had to shut his shop following the plastic ban in Maharashtra. He added, “I am getting several calls from retailers asking me to supply them packaging material. However, I don't know what can be done.” 

Jitu Palrecha, another wholesaler of packaging material said, "Even paper bag manufacturers are calling for big plastic bags to carry the paper bags in large numbers." 

Bharat Prajapati, another wholesaler of cleaning material claimed consumers are confused as they are simply refusing to buy simple brooms or mops which has some part made of plastic. He said he faces a challenge on how to sell the current stock as there are no takers. 

Pravin Bhalerao who switched to biodegradable plates made of areca nut leaves following a raid on his shop said there are no takers for such kinds of plates and spoons. 

The plastic business 
- Plastic manufacturing units provide employment to 20 lakh employees and labourers. 
- 5 lakh metric tonnes of plastic bags are manufactured each month. 
- In addition to disposable plastic material of 50,000 metric tonnes. 
(Information provided by Maharashtra Plastic Manufacturers Association) 

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