Restaurants continue their love affair with plastic

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Business is business as usual throughout the city as hundreds of curry outlets, dal and rice kiosks, coconut vendors and food trucks served thousands of customers at dusk hour. lunch Tuesday. In Iranian cafes where hundreds of thousands of steaming cups of tea are dispensed every day, the colorful mugs filled the trash cans. In an upscale cafe in Secunderabad, the water is bottled water. “Washing glasses to high hygienic standards takes time. It pays off,” says the bearer.

“Curry and rice for ₹80. Extra curry you have to pay more. I’m not aware of any bans,” said a food vendor, while piling rice on a green plastic plate, on the sidewalk of Vengal Rao Park. As hungry taxi and auto salesmen stopped for a bite to eat, the green plates covered in thin plastic sheets piled up.

“I use three packets of these sachets. Each has 100 sachets,” says a mirchi bajji vendor near Irram Manzil metro station. However, a token change has been made by some restaurants now using wooden spoons and foil-covered plastic bags.

For Iranian cafes, the ban on plastic cups is a political reversal after two years. “When the COVID-19 pandemic started, the government asked us to only use disposable plates and cups,” Hassan told Red Rose Café. “Customers said they preferred these mugs to ceramic mugs when we tried to reintroduce them six months ago,” Hassan said. Interestingly, the polystyrene cup only holds 40ml of tea instead of the 90ml of a ceramic cup.

The plastic ban has seen many avatars in India. The first was notified in September 1999: Rules for the manufacture, sale and use of plastics. The only constant has been the obsession with the thickness of the carry bag. The first ban in 1999 specified that the bags had to be thicker than 20 microns. The 23-year ban specified that virgin plastic carrier bags and containers must be white or natural in color.

Two years later, the Andhra Pradesh government banned colored plastic bags with a thickness of less than 20 microns in April 2001. Penalties included cancellation of business licenses for offenders and fines of between 2,500 ₹ and ₹50,000.

Two years later, the Center again amended the Rules for the Manufacture and Use of Recycled Plastics, 1999, but the ban remained on paper. The first ban even specified dyes that could be used to color plastic used for food packaging: IS:9833:1981.

The law was amended again in July 2011. It was now called the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011.

After the new government took over the Centre, it introduced the “Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016”. Without any ground modification.

The August 2021 Plastic Ban, which came into force on July 1, 2022, redefined plastic items with the ban on “plastic items intended to be used once for the same purpose before being disposed of or recycled”. “. But the wave of plastic seems to show no signs of ebbing.

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