Some hotels use plantain leaves for primary packing of food

Food being packed using plantain leaves at a hotel in Mangaluru on Monday.   | Photo Credit: H.S. Manjunath

Responding to an appeal by D. Vedavyasa Kamath, MLA, Mangaluru City South, a few hotels and restaurants in the city have now begun using plantain leaves for the primary packing of food being delivered for online orders.

The MLA took to social media twice recently urging hotels, restaurants, online and app-based food delivery operators to avoid using plastic.

In his first post on June 19 the MLA wrote: “Greetings Kudla, Plastic waste should be controlled well in Mangalore, Here is one step, I request hoteliers of Mangalore to pack the dishes (non gravy) ordered to be covered in banana leaf. Tulunad is famous for having dishes which is made with help of leaves, like Manjel aretha Gatti ( Patholi), Moode, Gunda (kottige) etc, and we all know how the aroma is coz of it. Let us implement this in packaging. As delivery of food is increasing in Mangalore, I would like the food delivery apps to support this cause by supporting our hoteliers of Mangalore in providing best benefit to them. This will not only reduce plastic waste, but also will increase the taste of the dish coz of the banana leaf flavor. Please Note: Its just a request for betterment of Mangalore, not a rule.”

In his second post on June 22 Mr. Kamath wrote: “I am working from all angles to make Mangalore plastic waste free. Found this video on internet and it shows that we can clearly use areca leaf containers for delivery of food etc. I also request all of you to use these containers instead of plastic during any functions while giving sweets to the guests. Catering service owners kindly look into this. Food delivery apps and hoteliers can try this out. Our region has areca business and this will boost the business for our own farming people. If all of you support this initiative Mangalore will be an example to this country which will definitely make all of us proud. Change is not easy but never impossible if all support for our city's betterment. Lets try to implement this.” Both Zomato and Swiggy wrote that they were working towards green packing solutions.

Though some hotels and restaurants use plantain leaf for primary packing, they continue to use plastic for secondary packing, and deliver using plastic bags.

Swarna Sunder, vice-president, Association of Hotels and Restaurants in Dakshina Kannada, told The Hindu that areca cups in different sizes and shapes are not available in the market in enough quantity.

Thinner and affordable cloth bags are also not available. If thin plantain leaves are available in the city it would help many to pack the food easily.

Hence, Mr. Sunder claimed that hoteliers have been forced to use plastic and are not able to switch over to green packaging completely.

He said that the association fully endorsed the MLA’s appeal and supported it.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 12:15:20 PM |

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