Maharashtra plastic ban cripples food takeaway business
The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has written to the state government and sought more clarity on the types of plastic that can be used for sending food parcels.
The state-wide plastic ban seems to have had an impact on the business of hotels and restaurants with orders for takeaway and parcels witnessing a drastic drop as the eateries have no clarity on the use of plastic containers which are mainly used to package food.
The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has written to the state government and sought more clarity on the types of plastic that can be used for sending food parcels. “Most of the parcels are sent in plastic containers of various sizes and the ban on such containers will directly impact business,” said Dilip Datwani, president, HRAWI.
According to the Association, the ban has affected the parcel business severely. “It is difficult to say the exact per cent of the slow down in business but more than half of the takeaway orders have been affected,” said Santosh Shetty, president, Mumbai unit of Indian Hotel & Restaurant Association (AHAR), and added that the state government should have made arrangements for alternatives before starting the plastic ban.
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The hoteliers are claiming that Indian food, in particular, cannot be packaged for parcels in paper bags. “Most of the cuisines have gravy-based items that need to be packaged in containers,” said Shetty, and added the government’s decision seemed like a move to promote fast food chains that offer burgers and pizzas that can be packaged in paper bags.
Datwani said that the associations have sought time of three months to use up all the existing stock of plastic containers and find an alternative in the meantime.
Both HRAWI and AHAR have over 4,000 hotels and restaurants registered with them and according to the associations, the heat felt following the plastic ban has mostly been the same for all hotels and restaurants. “Since there is a clause in the state government’s notification that people found carrying plastic items will also face action, this has prevented many customers from ordering takeaway,” said Shetty. He added that most of the middle-class customers opt for parcels and now they cannot take the food back home.