At Madurai District Tiny & Small Scale Industries Association (MADITSSIA) semi-automatic paper bag making machine and nearly 75 disposables made of paper, sugarcane and corn starch were among the major attractions at the four-day ‘Print-n-Pack 2018’, the 8th printing and packing fair.
The Tamil Nadu government said that it would ban any single use plastic item by January 1, 2019. And the new paper bag making machine is cost effective and uses less man power.
"We are among the half a dozen semi-automatic paper bag machine manufacturers in Tamil Nadu. In three years we have sold 120 units, most of them to buyers in Kerala, followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka. Only five were sold in our state. Following the plastic ban announcement by the CM, there is a surge in enquiry," R Anandhan, managing director of the Coimbatore-based Printech Machineries said.
He said the company has ordered for 35 paper bag making machines, of which five are from Tamil Nadu. "Orders from the state would be going up. Most of the buyers are those who want to set up a cottage industry in paper bag making and sell bags to traders. Our machine can be operated with a single phase electricity connection," he said.
Stating that the cost of manufacturing a paper bag (excluding the paper cost) is less than 50 paisa, he said that 10,000 bags can be made in an eight-hour shift. "There is no fully automatic paper bag making units in India. The imported machines would cost 40 lakh. We are trying to rollout the same at 15 lakh to `20 lakh by 2020," he added.
Less than a handful of stalls only exhibited such alternatives for plastic packing materials. ‘Use Plastic, Save Forest’ said the advertisement banners in one of the stalls by a Madurai-based plastic manufacturing company. "Alternative for plastics is materials made of paper, for which you have to fell trees. So use plastic and save trees," a person in the stall said.