June 7, 2018
Restaurants and hotels have claimed to suffer 20 percent of food loss after the plastic ban in Maharashtra. They said that the usage of paper bags has led to tearing thus resulting in such losses and that they are looking for better substitutes of plastic bags.
Not only the plastic bag posed the problem here as sugarcane bags were also used by some restaurants which led to angry customers over the odour emitted from the bag. Also, the paper straws being used are getting soggy, making drinks messy which has led 60 percent of restaurants in Pune to stop providing straws at all to their customers.
The restaurants are searching for plastic substitutes as the ban date (23rd June) is nearing said Ganesh Shetty, president, Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers Association (PRAHA).
“Paper bags are causing 10%-20% of food wastage in restaurants as they tear and disintegrate. Paper bags are not strong enough to bear the weight of food and are not suitable for carrying curries, chutneys and sauces,” he said. “We have not been able to find a suitable replacement for plastic to carry liquids such as dal. Unfortunately, we have no other alternative as of now and seek the environment department’s clarification on items that are banned and whether food-grade plastic can be used by restaurants,” said Kamlesh Barot.
The vice president of Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers Association, (PRAHA) shared his concern over paper bags. He said, “Firstly, they are costly— the price being Rs. 5-Rs. 8 per bag. Even if they are bought at that price, they tear, causing food wastage. Secondly, when we pack chutney in such bags, half of it leaks by the time it reaches the customer. Similar issues are being faced with paper straws as they get soggy. Steel straws meanwhile are difficult to clean and have to be reused, which most customers don’t like.”