Drinks firms spooked as India refuses to exempt some plastic straws from ban – Times of India


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NEW DELHI: India has rejected calls for from massive international and home beverage companies to exempt some plastic straws from a ban that takes impact on July 1, fanning fears of disruption in a multi-billion-dollar trade.
The ban on gadgets equivalent to straws packaged with small packs of juices and dairy merchandise that earn $790 million in annual gross sales is a part of India’s drive to stamp out polluting, single-use plastic trash that chokes rivers and drains.
“We’re anxious as this comes throughout peak demand season,” stated Praveen Aggarwal, chief government of an trade group, Motion Alliance for Recycling Beverage Cartons (AARC), referring to India’s sweltering summer season temperatures.
“Customers and model house owners will face main disruptions.”
For months, his alliance, which teams PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Co, India’s Parle Agro, Dabur and milk companies, has lobbied for the straws to be exempted, saying there have been no alternate options.
Aggarwal’s feedback got here after the surroundings ministry rejected the group’s calls for, telling it in an April 6 memo that the trade “ought to transfer in the direction of uptake of alternate options”, after being given greater than a 12 months’s discover of the change.
The surroundings ministry didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. Pepsi declined remark, whereas Coca-Cola and different corporations didn’t reply to queries.
Massively fashionable for reasonably priced charges that vary from 5 rupees to 30 rupees, or the equal of seven US cents to 40 US cents, the small packs are a part of India’s a lot greater marketplace for juice and milk merchandise, AARC says.
Pepsi’s Tropicana and Dabur’s Actual fruit juices, together with Coca-Cola’s Maaza and Parle Agro’s Frooti mango drinks are among the many drinks offered within the small-pack format, and the packaged straws let consumers quench their thirst whereas on the go.
AARC repeatedly pushed the federal government to exempt such straws from its ban, saying nations equivalent to Australia, China and Malaysia allowed their use, in letters despatched to the surroundings ministry in October, and seen by Reuters.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities believes such tiny straws are a “low-utility product” that results in littering and must be scrapped for paper straws or spout pouches as a substitute, stated a supply acquainted with the federal government’s considering, who spoke on situation of anonymity.
All kinds of plastic straws should be banned, stated Chitra Mukherjee, a waste administration professional in New Delhi, as they ranked among the many high 10 kinds of marine particles.
However three senior trade officers stated their corporations feared disruption in provide of juices and drinks, whereas turning to choices might enhance product prices and hit enterprise.
Aggarwal stated the trade would require at the least 15 to 18 months to construct a supply-chain answer with different kinds of straws.
“We are going to try to persuade the federal government once more,” he added.

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