Tuesday, April 8, 2014

‘Know plastic, do not say no to plastic’

(My article in The Gulf Today, April 8, 2004)
Sharjah: A huge number of companies from the plastics industry has descended on Sharjah to take part in the region’s only multi-industry trade event at Expo Centre, and the one loud message that echoes from most participants is: “Know plastics, do not say no to plastics.”
The Plastivision Arabia, Arabia Mold, Print Pack Arabia, and the International Conference for Plastics Conversion were jointly inaugurated on Monday by Sheikh Mohammad Bin Saud Bin Sultan Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Department of Central Finance and Indrajit Pal, IAS, Secretary, Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals, India.
The growth opportunities for the Indian plastics industry in the UAE is robust, says Jayesh K. Rambhia, Chairman of Plastivision Arabia 2014 and representative of the All-India Plastics Manufacturers’ Association.
Insisting that plastic is not an enemy of the environment, Rambhia says it is all about how it is disposed of and recycled that decides the ecological impact. “Plastics reduces the weight of packaging and saves fuel. Plastic replication system saves 90 per cent water. In fact, plastics in healthcare saves health. Everywhere there is plastics.”
Though “Say no to plastics” is a slogan imported from America,  the US itself uses 100kg plastic per head per year, argues Rambhia. While India is using only 8kg, the Gulf average is said to be 25kg. “Instead of saying no to plastics, know plastics, use it well, dispose of responsibly and grow economically.”
Rambhia says even in countries like Germany, Japan and US, it is not banned. “In Germany, there is zero wastage thanks to stringent rules.
Asked about the advantageous for the UAE, Rambhia points out that the UAE is moving from oil to polymer manufacturing to plastic processing. “This will bring opportunities to the SME sector, create jobs for thousands and will lead to inclusive growth of population and the entire country.”
Praising UAE’s approach on the matter, the Plastivision Arabia official says that the UAE is a meeting hub from Africa, GCC and the Indian subcontinent.
“This is a place where we had visitors from 66 countries. People find it easier in terms of logistics. The infrastructure is fantastic and the industry is growing here nicely as the government is encouraging through many incentives. There is great scope for the UAE and India to partner and compliment each other.”
What about ban on plastic products in several countries?
“When they say ban, they only mean one product - thin plastic bags - it is a small portion of plastic and that too littering is causing problem. In advanced countries, they do not ban plastics. They teach citizens and educate them on how to dispose of plastics responsibly. They create waste management systems and waste segregation at source,” Rambhia elaborates.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Trade, exports of plastics from the UAE grew by 127 per cent ($2.2 billion) from H1 2011 to H1 2012, eight times larger than the growth rate achieved during the whole of 2011.
“Can you live one day without plastics? If the answer is no, then accept it, use it wisely and grow,” sums up Rambhia.


  1. Thanks for sharing. I wish everyone reads this

  2. Ramesh,i have sold a lot of plastic to the UAE.
    PVC coduit ducting was a big requirment in early days.
    We must have sold thousonds of KMs of duct