BY MR. RITURAJ GUPTA – PRESIDENT,
THE ALL INDIA PLASTICS MANUFACTURERS’ ASSOCIATION (AIPMA)
AIPMA condemns The article in “Times Of India” Dated: 05-12-2014 (Times News Network) “Plastic Bottles for Liquid Medicines Hazardous” as pro-plastics without base of technical support and improper knowledge.
Plastic bottles used in Pharmaceutical packing are made from special plastic, polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The water bottles for packing drinking water (mineral water) (brands like Aquafina, Bisleri, Himalayan, etc., almost all brands) are also made from PET. Over so many years these bottles have been used not only in India but the world over. The advanced countries like US, UK, Germany, and Japan etc are regularly using PET bottles for packing medical products such as liquid medicines, syrups, suspensions etc; wines, drinking water, aerated soft drinks such as cola, orange or soda. The quality of PET bottles for such applications is set as per the International standards. Indian standards at times are more stringent than International standards. The change in quality of medicines, soft drinks, drinking water, etc., packed in PET bottles is monitored by the competent authorities before the approval for commercial use is given. These authorities are under the central Government. Over last two decades, the use of PET bottles for packaging of medical products across the globe has been practiced and no adverse reports by medical authorities of any country have appeared suggesting that packaging of medical products is harmful to human beings.
There are research articles available for packed wine, medical products or soft drinks at elevated temperatures over prolonged time to see if any adverse changes in the properties of packed goods have taken place. There were no adverse effects observed.
PET manufacturing does not use any type of heavy metals during its process. All the ingredients are approved by the competent authorities. The bottles are manufactured by blow moulding or injection stretch blow moulding. There are no extra materials or metals added by moulder.
The false statement that BPA (Bis Phenol – A) is used in PET is totally baseless and false. Similarly DEHP (Di Ethyl Hexyl Phthalate) is NEVER used to make PET BOTTLES. PVC bottles used as blood bags also do not use DEHP. The use of DEHP in PVC bottles for storing drinking water or soft drinks has been banned and out of practice since last 30 years.
PET bottles are recycled for non-medicalor food contact applications such as fibres for carpets etc., and never used for mineral water, also in India.
When glass bottles are reused, they consume large amounts of water and soap. This adds to the load on waste water treatment. The dead weight of glass bottle is much more than PET bottles which increase the transport cost much more. Recycling of glass bottles is also more energy consuming than recycling of PET bottles. These advantages are indirect.
The NGOs may start the campaigns such as: (1) Too many people die every day while crossing the railway tracks. Ban railways. (2) Short circuits cause electric fires. Ban electricity, etc.
An Expert on Plastics & Polymer Professor “D. D. Kale” (Ex Head of Polymer Engineering and Paint Technology Department of University of Mumbai, Matunga) says: “We all have grown up with Pearl PET jars, a brand that catapulted India over-night to global platform in PET arena. How can it be projected as an unsafe packaging material for some of the medical formulations on the basis of non-scientific base and false claims by some NGOs and some senior doctors and not by medical experts?”