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We are in the process of moving to PLA-based straws,” said R S Sodhil, managing director of Amul.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. Amul has asked its distributors to push loose paper straws into the supply chain, Sodhi added. Distributors of companies that supply these beverages 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.
First Published: Fri, July 01 2022. 21:18 IST