Stores refuse plastic straws from July

NEW DELHI: Retailers are asking beverage companies not to supply plastic straws to tetra-paks as these cannot be stocked from July 1. This is when the ban on single-use plastic is expected to come into force across India.
The development comes even as the domestic beverage industry, led by Amul and Parle Agro called on the government to delay the ban. Their reason: Paper straws are rare and imports are unsustainable due to the high cost. Several beverage companies have told TOI that they have received instructions from retailers not to supply packs with plastic straws. But, they added, they sit on a pile of inventory that was produced with those.
“The banning of plastic straws on tetra paks will have a big impact on small businesses as they are highly dependent on Indian suppliers,” said Akhil GouptaMD to Fresca Juice. “Paper straws have to be imported because their manufacture here is almost nil at present.”
Retailers, however, said they were putting measures in place to implement the government’s decision to ban single-use plastic, including plastic straws, cutlery, headphones and candy sticks.
German wholesaler Metro Cash & Carry’s FMCG team, for example, informed the company’s suppliers that they must comply with the ban. Similarly, Spencer’s Retail said the retail chain will follow guidelines set by the government on single-use plastic. Online grocery store Zepto will also be evaluating packaging to remove those that come with straws.
Amul, who needs 12 lakh of plastic straws every day for his Rs 10 takeaway packs, has even offered to set up his own factories for paper straws.
(With contributions from Udit Prasanna Mukherji)


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