NEW DELHI, The New Indian Express –With single-use plastics on their way out, a total ban on the environmentally hazardous material may well see paper packaging making a swift comeback, a report released at the Paperex 2019 conference says.

Organized by paper major Hyve India, the event saw industry executives agree that paper offers a sustainable option and can capture a fourth of the Rs 80,000 crore single-use plastics market by 2025 in case of a total ban on the latter

Packaging accounts for a third of India’s plastic consumption and 70 percent of plastic packaging is turned into waste in a very short span. Uncollected plastic waste poses a huge threat to species on land and in water and single-use plastic bags and styrofoam containers can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, the study noted. In contrast, paper is eco-friendly green product and bio-degradable, it said, adding that the paper industry plants more trees than it harvests, and primary raw materials are 100 percent renewable.

According to the report from the industry, India generated 26,000 tonnes per day of plastic waste in 2017-18, of which only 60 percent was recycled. The rest ended up as litter on roads, in landfills or streams. However, about a third of new paper comes from recycled paper and an equivalent amount from waste such as sawdust and scrap from lumber mills, the Paperex study said.

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