Indian consumers are thirsty after Modi’s ban on plastic straws

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While it is well known that Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposes policies on a country without adequate notice, food and beverage manufacturers had years to plan when he announced his intention to ban single-use plastics in 2019. They weren’t prepared when the first batch of items was banned this month.

Many of the common Tetra Paks of juices and other beverages sold in the nation come with plastic straws attached. Companies like Dabur India Ltd. and Parle Agro Pvt., one of the largest beverage manufacturers in the country, have been vying to replace them with imported paper alternatives since July 1, when 19 single-use plastic products, including the straws, were outlawed. The change, according to vendors, has caused a shortage and caused some soft drink box stocks to run out.

According to Ilhan Savut, an analyst at BloombergNEF, Modi’s 2019 pledge to ban single-use plastics by the end of 2022 set the most ambitious goal in Asia-Pacific. The government has claimed time and time again for the industry to prepare for the change. However, the lack of domestic alternatives and the pandemic, which disrupted supply chains and raised competition among global buyers, have made it more difficult for industry to meet the deadline.

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