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Business Standard

Beverage firms scramble to import paper straws as plastic ban kicks in

However, beverage companies have resorted to different measures to ensure that stocks in the supply chain are not sold with plastic straws

Topics
plastic ban | Ban on plastic | plastic ban in India

Sharleen D’Souza  |  Mumbai 



straw
Amul, which also sells buttermilk in tetra packs, is resorting to the use of PLA-based straws as they are cheaper compared to paper straws.
As single-use kicks in, beverage makers have resorted to importing paper straws. They are also resorting to manufacturing biodegradable straws made of poly lactic acid (PLA) at their locations. However, have resorted to different measures to ensure that stocks in the supply chain are not sold with plastic straws. Some have asked retailers and distributors to sell these packs without the plastic straw, which is typically taped to the pack itself. A few of them have sent limited stocks into the trade without straws, according to distributors of beverage makers. They have also given retailers and distributors loose paper straws to go with the pack. has already commenced production of Real juice packs with integrated paper straws. We are committed to meeting the regulations and will ensure that all packs come with integrated paper straws,” Shahrukh Khan, executive director-operations, Dabur, told Business Standard. Even Parle Agro, which sells drinks like Frooti and Smoodh in smaller tetra packs with straws, has started integrating biodegradable straws at manufacturing locations. “We have imported paper-based straws for now to meet the deadline and will move to PLA-based straws,” said Schauna Chauhan, chief executive officer (CEO), Parle. Chauhan added, “This will commence once all the machineries of our business partners for manufacturing PLA straws are installed and commissioned. This will take a few months. We have created infrastructure for this by developing many local MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) as business partners to cater to our volume of biodegradable straws.” Amul, which also sells buttermilk in tetra packs, is resorting to the use of PLA-based straws as they are cheaper compared to paper straws. To meet the guidelines, which came into force from Friday, the dairy cooperative has also resorted to importing paper straws. “Demand for paper straws is higher than supplies.

We are in the process of moving to PLA-based straws,” said R S Sodhil, managing director of . He added that while PLA straws cost twice the amount compared to plastic ones, they are still cheaper than paper straws. Paper straws are priced six times higher than plastic straws. “The government has also given many PLA straw makers approvals to start manufacturing,” Sodhi said. has asked its distributors to push loose paper straws into the supply chain, Sodhi added. Distributors of that supply these also said that they have not taken the stock back from retailers. They have asked retailers to sell without the plastic straw and distribute paper straws separately. A clearing and forwarding agent from the western region said Parle Agro has kept very little stock without any straws attached at the depot. This will last for a day or two compared to the usual 10-12 days of stock. Another distributor said Dabur has also asked retailers to sell without straws and are providing paper straws separately. Praveen Aggarwal, CEO of the Action Alliance for Recycling Beverage Cartons (AARC) said there are limitations and some short-term disruptions in the marketplace. “Retailers don’t know what to do with the plastic straws,” Aggarwal added. All stakeholders across the value chain had appealed to the government asking for relaxation till the time they could adjust to the new norms. However, the government still went ahead with July 1 as the implementation date. Aggarwal also said that European nations are also moving to paper straws and there are no manufacturing capacities in India. The current global capacities are not enough to meet the demand. “India will have to import provided imports are available,” Aggarwal said. AARC is also working to bring in biodegradable straws made of polylactic acid. These straws are derived from plants.

RUSH TO MEET DEADLINE Parle Agro and in the process of moving towards biodegradable poly lactic acid straws Biodegradable straws priced at twice as much as plastic straws Paper straws priced six times higher than plastic straws Firms asking distributors and retailers to sell products by offering paper straws separately

First Published: Fri, July 01 2022. 21:18 IST

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