Plastic ban triggers churn in ad, flex printing business

Alternative material too expensive, say stakeholders

The State Government’s decision to go ahead with the ban on single-use plastic products and the consequent ouster of PVC flex materials from use from January 1 have triggered a churn in advertisement and flex printing businesses, with players trying to adapt to fresh requirements.

“There is no alternative to the ban as things have got out of hand with a flood of PVC materials on the scene,” said an advertisement industry member, welcoming the government decision. He added that some control was needed, considering the environmental consequences of uncontrolled use of the material and it being dumped sometimes after use.

However, a flex printer in Kochi said the situation had created a crisis of sorts for printers.

He claimed that the material was recyclable, and that a proposal had been submitted to the State Government regarding the possibility of recycling flex materials used for advertising and other purposes.

Stephen Madavana, district president of Sign Printing Industries Association, backed the claim, saying that flex material was recyclable and reusable. However, there has been no decision so far on allowing flex printers to set up recycling units, he added.

Association’s claim

Sign Printers’ Association State general secretary Vijay Raj said the alternative material suggested by the Government was four times more costly than flex. There is also a technical issue with the size of the material. Besides, he pointed out that the alternative material was a monopoly product. He also said that flex printing industry generated a substantial number of employment in the State, and that the ban on flex had a direct impact on workers.

The outdoor advertising industry, which will be directly hit by the government decision to ban PVC flex materials, is trying to adapt to the new situation.

Kerala Advertising Industry Association district president K. Vijayakumar conceded that the industry was aware of concerns over use of flex materials.

As a consequence, it is experimenting with cloth and fabrics that are environment friendly. Some clients too have favoured the shift in material even though the finish of the final product does not compare well with the finish in flex, he added.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 11:41:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/plastic-ban-triggers-churn-in-ad-flex-printing-business/article30428370.ece

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