Thiruvananthapuram

Eateries struggle with plastic ban

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Many find it difficult to make a complete switch to alternatives

More than a week after the ban on single use plastic, it is the owners of restaurants and wayside eateries who are struggling to make the shift, with many still clueless on a proper alternative for plastic pouches used to pack curries. While some have started experimenting with alternatives like the one made from potato starch or containers made of aluminium foil, several shops still continue to use the silver-coloured multi-layer plastic, which is also banned.

“We have already started using packaging material made of potato starch, in place of plastic materials, supplied by a Delhi-based company. It costs a little more and its durability is not known. But, we are told that it would decompose easily and blend in with the soil. But, I think, they should allow the use of special grade plastic, which can be recycled or used for purposes like road tarring,” says Sanal K.S., owner of Mother’s Veg Plaza at Bakery Junction.

Some restaurants like Zam Zam at YMR Junction had begun using carry bags made of cloth, much before the ban came into effect. “After the ban, we have changed our plastic spoons and forks and started using wooden ones. For parcelling juice, we use cups and straws made of paper. Aluminium foil covers are used to pack the food stuff, including the curries,” said the manager of the restaurant.

Many of the wayside eateries and restaurants have begun using plantain leaf for packing dosa and parotta, instead of the typical plastic wrapping. But most of them still depend on multi-layer plastic for packing curries. A person running a wayside eatery insisted that such material is not banned. However, Corporation officials maintain that it poses a health hazard and is on the list of banned materials.

“Aluminium foil containers are permitted for packing curries. There is no reason why the shops should continue to use multi-layer plastics,” said a Health official.

Though the Corporation had suggested that the restaurants and food delivery operators shift to reusable steel containers for food delivery, they are yet to get a favourable response.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 9:54:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/eateries-struggle-with-plastic-ban/article30546266.ece

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