The development comes even as the domestic beverage industry led by Amul and Parle Agro has petitioned the government to delay the ban. Their reason: Paper straws are in short supply and imports are not sustainable due to the high cost involved. Several beverage companies told TOI they have received instructions from retailers to not supply packs with plastic straws. But, they added, they are sitting on a pile of inventory that has been produced with those.
“Ban on plastic straws on tetra paks will have a big impact on small businesses, as they largely depend on Indian suppliers,” said Akhil Gupta, MD at Fresca Juices. “Paper straws have to be imported as their manufacturing here is almost nil at present.”
Retailers, however, said that they are putting in place measures to implement the government’s decision to ban single-use plastic, including plastic straws, cutlery, ear buds and candy sticks.
German wholesaler Metro Cash & Carry’s FMCG team, for instance, has communicated to the company’s suppliers that they need to be compliant with the ban. Similarly, Spencer’s Retail said the retail chain will follow the guidelines laid down by the government on single-use plastic. Online grocery retailer Zepto, too, will evaluate packs to remove those that come with straws.
Amul, which needs 12 lakh plastic straws every day for its Rs 10 on-the-go packs, has even proposed setting up its own plants to for paper straws.
(With inputs from Udit Prasanna Mukherji)