The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), apex body of about 7 crore traders represented through about 40 thousand Trade Associations across Country in a communication sent to Prakash Javedkar, Union Minister for Environment has drawn his attention towards several confusions being prevailed among trade and industry about stoppage of single-use plastic , a call given by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The CAIT has said that such confusions if not taken cognisance of, may prove to be a roadblock in the success of the eradication of single-use plastic. The CAIT has urged that suitable guidelines should be issued immediately to bring an end to single-use plastic in the Country.
The CAIT has further said that traders are the last mile connect with 130 crore people of the Country and as such can play a major role in extending the call down the line across Country through more than 7 crore shopping outlets. The CAIT has already extended its full support to call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and in furtherance of the same, the CAIT has already launched a nationwide campaign from 1st September 2019 advising the traders across Country not to sell or buy single-use plastic or bags and advise their respective customers to bring their own bags for shopping.
CAIT National President Mr. B.C.Bhartia & Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal said that we are making all endeavors to make this campaign a great success since single-use plastic is a great danger for the environment and represent the epitome of today’s throwaway culture. However, there is great confusion prevailing in the markets about the category of items that fall under single-use plastic. Further, it is also not clear whether plastic above 50 microns is allowed or not. What are the alternatives available that could be promoted to replace single-use plastics. So far there is no guideline from the Government on this issue and therefore the trade, commerce, and Industry is in a dilemma.
Both Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal said that 98% of single-use plastic is used by MNCs, Corporate Manufacturers and Big retailers either in their production line or packaging of finished goods. The traders are forced to sell goods in whatever packing they receive from the manufacturer or source of origin. Unless and until these companies are not compelled to stop the use of single-use plastic either in the production line or in the packing of finished goods, there will always be an occasion for the usage of single-use plastic at the end of consumer. Therefore, immediate directions should be given to such manufacturers to stop using single-use plastic immediately so that after October 2nd no goods should be available in the market with such packing.
The trade leaders drew the attention of Javedkar towards tens of thousands of industries across Country engaged in plastic trade giving employment to crores of people in the Country. In the event of a stoppage of single-use plastic, their business activities will come to an end which may also result in unemployment of all such people those working in these companies. In this context, the Government should carve out some viable alternatives so that these industries keep running their business activities and employment is not disturbed.
The CAIT has urged Javedkar that since October 2nd is approaching fast, the Ministry should convene a meeting of stakeholders to discuss the issue in detail and guide as to how the campaign should be conducted across Country so that vision of Prime Minister can be converted into a reality.
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