Moving towards a plastic-free world

Sonal Khurana
Sonal Khurana

In his 2019 Independence Day speech from the ramparts of Red Fort in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched for the country’s freedom from single-use plastics, which are used only once before thrown away, polluting the environment and harming people. Our leader announced that the time for implementing such an idea has come, with the first significant step to be made from October 2 (Gandhi Jayanti). Being in the signage sector, which is a manufacturing industry, we also need to take part in the move towards the plastic-free world.

Petroleum-based disposable plastics are difficult to recycle. To do so, adding new virgin materials and chemicals are required. These plastics usually go into landfills where they are buried or find their way into rivers and ocean. Since the products are not biodegradable, which means they don’t decompose into natural substance like soil, they eventually break down into tiny particles after many years. In the process of breaking down, they release toxic chemicals that were used as additives while shaping and hardening them into plastic.

Latest research report reveals that the toxic chemicals released during the breaking down process of petroleum-based disposable plastics are now being found in our bloodstream. They disrupt our endocrine system and cause cancer, infertility, birth defects, impaired immunity and many other ailments. Because of such dreadful reasons, our PM took the step to bid a goodbye to plastics, inviting start-ups to recycle plastics and develop technologies for using recycled plastics. He brought the move to the notice of world leaders at the recent G7 Summit 2019 at Biarritz, France.

Now the same concern is in the signage industry as well. It’s obvious that we need to go for plastic-free printing materials. With such move, together we can make the industry a better work place where everything is safe today, tomorrow and in future. Of course, over the years we have been putting effort to transform the industry into a fully environment-friendly sector. This effort will largely contribute to our Prime Minister’s plan to ‘phase-out’ single-use plastics from the country.

More than 20 states across the country have notified a full or partial ban on such harmful plastics. Even signage players in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala use only non-PVC printing materials. When it comes to creating the signage industry a plastic-free environment, it wouldn’t be a herculean task. We have various alternatives which are fully eco-friendly and economical printing media and readily available in the market. Let’s support the move that our Prime Minister has initiated for our safety future.

Region Exclusive column in this issue covers Saharanpur, a serene and sparsely populated city in the western Uttar Pradesh. There are around 20 PSPs in the city. Currently, most of them are running entry-level printers to meet all needs of their customers, which predominantly consist of local companies and a few corporates. But there is vibrancy in the city’s signage market as every PSP we interact is upgrading their production facilities from time to time, one level to another. We expect them grow faster than expected in near future.