June 30: The Maharashtra government had imposed ban on single use plastic last week. Various companies were fined for using plastic items. Restaurant owners and the food delivery companies are the ones that are hugely affected by the ban. The orders the companies receive have been reduced by 10% – 30%. Meanwhile, their decision to increase the food- delivery charges by 20% -25% might also lead the companies to loss.
When it comes to the alternatives, the company do not have much options. The alternative recyclable plastic containers which are to be used for delivery are expensive than the usual pouches used.
As per the statements made by the India Hotels and Restaurant Association (AHAR) based in Wadala, the hoteliers are using injection molded containers which come with snap- on lids. These containers can be reused and recycled.
Vishwapal Shetty, General Secretary at AHAR has been quoted as saying that recyclable containers are expensive when compared to the 60p plastic carriers. AHAR overlooks around 8000 restaurants and food joints located in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. He added that if the hoteliers return these plastic containers, the will be refunded with a particular amount of money.
Application based food delivery companies such as Zomato, UberEats, and Swiggy welcomed the ban wholeheartedly, even though they are affected by the move. Zomato claims to have been promoting reduction of plastic, even before the ban was imposed by the government. The company also says that they have noticed drop in orders, even when they were promoting plastic ban.
At the same time there are reports that not all customers receive their orders in alternative containers made of reusable plastic or the degradable material like cardboard.
It was reported that a Zomato user who opted the ‘go green’ option on the app got the food delivered in a plastic bag. Another report which came out after a day of the ban disclosed that a Swiggy Sunday customer got a plastic straw in a McDonald’s order.
Application based food delivery companies including Zomato and UberEats said that they are working hard to follow the latest orders from the government. According to Zomato, they are helping hoteliers, but the difficulty comes because the alternatives are not available in the market. Stating that some of the hoteliers were unprepared they added that they have advised their delivery employees to avoid plastic packed products.
Three months after the ban on manufacture, usage, sale, transport or distribution of plastics, the Maharashtra government, on June 23 announced a complete ban on plastic. With the ban, the Maharashtra state government aims to reduce environmental damage. The capital city of Maharashtra, Mumbai, by itself, contributes to the 30% of the plastic waste in India. High-quality carry bags, plastic, thermocol decorative items, disposable cutlery and non-woven polypropylene bags are included in the ban.