No Exemption To Tetra Pack Straws From Plastic Ban To Hurt Juice Companies
Juice and non-alcoholic drink companies in India are worried as Indian government has refused to exempt straws from the plastic ban. The ban goes into motion from July 01, 2022.
This decision has left the multi-billion-dollar industry in a fix. Speaking about their tensions over sales, Praveen Aggarwal, chief executive of an industry group, Action Alliance for Recycling Beverage Cartons (AARC), said, “We are worried as this comes during peak demand season.” Indian summers are cruel and these tetra packs sell like hotcakes in the sweltering summer temperatures.
Straws packaged with small packs of juices and dairy products earn something like $790 million in annual sales. The decision comes after the environment ministry refused to adhere to the request of a large lobby group. An April 6th memo issued by the ministry said that the industry “should move towards uptake of alternatives”, after being given more than a year’s notice of the change.
Lobby comprised groups PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Co, India’s Parle Agro, Dabur and milk firms, that were consistently lobbying for straws to be exempted from the plastic ban owing to a fact that there is just no other alternative.
AARC has given the examples of other nations that have not taken such steps. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s government believes such tiny straws are a “low-utility product” that leads to littering and should be scrapped for paper straws or spout pouches instead, said a source familiar with the government’s thinking, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Country examples quoted in letters sent to the ministry include China, Malaysia, and Australia. But three senior industry officials said their companies feared disruption in the supply of juices and drinks while turning to options could boost product costs and hit business. Aggarwal said the industry would require at least 15 to 18 months to build a supply-chain solution with other types of straws.