This Independence day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a pledge to ban the use of single-use plastic by October 2, as a result of which the industry has started aligning itself with the PM’s ultimate goal of scrapping plastic by 2022. This announcement takes us back to March 2018 when Maharashtra became the first state in India to implement a ban on single-use plastics. Following its footsteps, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu embraced the changes. At present, almost every other state is banning plastic in some or the other way.
Although the plastic ban is directed towards a healthier environment, businesses in the food, beverage retail and e-commerce industries are set to be the most affected by this development. Amazon's Indian arm is planning to replace all single use plastic in its packaging by June 2020 and use paper cushions instead. Likewise, rival Flipkart is cutting down on single-use plastic use by 25 per cent and plans to move entirely to recycled plastic consumption in its own supply chain by March 2021.
Companies involved in the food packaging sector are looking out for best possible alternatives to plastic such as paper, jute, cloth, glass and even plant-based packaging. For example, multinational food packaging company Tetra Pak is assessing a number of biodegradable options, such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), a polymer derived from plant-based materials, as part of a broader programme to help address the issue of plastic straw waste. On a similar track, many domestic food packaging companies have already started utilizing alternatives for their products. “As the ban on plastic has become more aggressive, we have started focusing on virgin craft paper for the packaging purposes. It is completely biodegradable and thus environmental friendly. It will surely pick up demand with the consumers, vendors etc.”, mentions K. Jitender Prakash, Vice President-Sales, H.R. Associates.
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