Why Beverage Companies Are Resisting Immediate Plastic Straw Ban
Beverage companies have requested the government to delay the ban as the move will affect the ease of doing business. Companies cite that the required infrastructure for implementing the ban is not in place
Beverage companies have requested the government to delay the ban on plastic straws, effective 1 July.
In August 2021, the Central government announced a ban on single-use plastic, to contain pollution. In February this year, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said the ban would take effect from 1 July.
Beverage companies have requested the government to delay the ban as the move will affect the ease of doing business. Companies cite that the required infrastructure for implementing the ban is not in place.
Dairy heavyweight Amul alone needs 1.2 million plastic straws everyday. "We have written a letter to the environment secretary on the proposed ban on single use plastic straw. The plastic straw in our buttermilk and lassi is attached to a tetra pack. It is part of primary packaging. So we have urged the environment ministry to include it as part of extended producer responsibility (EPR) and recycling," said R S Sodhi, MD of Amul.
"There is no infrastructure in India to manufacture such volumes," Sodhi told TOI.
Earlier, beverage company Parle Agro, the owner of brands such as Frooti and Appy, urged the government to extend the deadline to implement the ban on plastic straws by six months. The company said it needs that much time to set up infrastructure in the country. "We have started importing paper straws, however, this is not a sustainable move as the cost of importing is really high," said Schauna Chauhan, CEO of Parle Agro.
The move by the government comes close to a time when the country's pollution levels and environmental concerns are at an alarming level. Plastic straws are not only non-biodegradable, but they are also very difficult to recycle and often get deposited in the landfills and oceans. It's estimated that 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean each year, and 1.15–2.41 tonnes of it is carried down major rivers around the world.
At a time when companies are looking towards paper straws as an alternative to plastic straws, Bamboo straws too fit the bracket. Bamboo straws are anti-bacterial and reusable and Bamboo is also one of the fastest growing plants on earth, which makes it a sustainable material.