CHENNAI: After the government agreed to reconsider exempting plastic-coated paper cups from the ban, which will come into effect on January 1, the Tamil Nadu Hotels Association has appealed for a similar relaxation. It wants food grade plastic covers to be out of the purview of the ban. It has claimed that the hotel industry would “face a lot of problem” in packaging food, especially liquids.
The association has appealed to be kept out of the ban’s ambit at least for a period of six months so that they can find environmentally friendly alternatives to pack food. It is to be noted that the government announced the impending ban as early as in July. “Takeaway sales comprise a significant portion of our business, and that will be affected,” says president of TNHA Venkada Subbu.
“We are yet to find a suitable and cost-effective alternative. So we are appealing to the government to show some leniency and exempt aluminium foil pouches from the ban,” says Subbu. TNHA, which has about 10,000 members in the State, has alleged that the ban was being implemented in a hurry, without creating enough alternatives to plastics.
“Plastics have been used to package food for decades, we cannot find pocket-friendly alternatives to it in just six months,” says M Ravi, president of Chennai Hotels Association. Though bags made of cornstarch and banana fibre are available in the market, their cost is high and production is limited, claims Ravi.
M Ravi, president of Chennai Hotels Association, says without plastics, packaging fee could amount to 25-30 per cent of a customer’s bill