Plastic water bottles and food containers that are being sold as ‘BPA-free’ are a marketing “gimmick”, an industry body AIPMA said today. BPA (bisphenol-A) is a carbon-based, synthetic hardening agent widely used in many plastic products. But when used in food containers, BPA is known to leach into food. “Plastics made of food grade material are safe. To say BPA-free plastics are safe, it is a marketing gimmick. There is no scientific proven study on this,” All India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association (AIPMA) President Haren Sanghavi said.
The plastics in white or transparent colour are more safe when compared to the coloured ones for food packaging purpose. The quality of coloured plastics depends the quality of chemical used for colouring it, he said. Sanghavi was here to announce about the 11th series of global plastic exhibition ‘Plastivision India’ to be held in the national capital on February 28 – March 4 in 2019.
On some states imposing ban on plastic use, AIPMA chief said, “They have banned not because plastics are not safe for use. It is because of environmental concern and lack of reclining,” he said. Plastics can be recycled easily, for which states have to put in place a proper mechanism, he said, adding the industry body is closely working with municipal bodies on waste management and recycling.
There is no alternative to plastics though some countries are now shifting to biodegradable plastics due to environmental concerns, he said. In India, biodegradable plastics are not widely used because it is expensive.
However, the industry is looking at various options to address the price issue, he added. According to the AIPMA, the country’s plastic consumption is likely to touch 23 million tonnes by 2020. The industry is growing at 15 per cent and roll out of goods and services tax (GST) will further boost the growth.