A report by the Times of India says that in Chennai, restaurants and eateries altogether use about 15 tonnes of plastic to pack food according to an estimate by the hospitality industry. The estimate also reveals that 300 bars which are linked to Tasmac liquor outlets churn a garbage of three lakh plastic cups and water sachets. The state government has decided to ban the use of single use plastic by early next year.
Plastic Waste From Food Packaging
“A majority of the used plastic goes to the trash bin as it does not give good returns in the scrap market,” a TASMAC (Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation) official told the Times of India. “Around 500 restaurants with business of more than `50,000 per day consume 3.5kg of plastic every day. The rest, who have businesses below `50,000 use 1kg of plastic each to pack food,” R Rajkumar, secretary of Chennai Hotels Association told the publication.
He also added that 20,000 roadside stalls are existing in Chennai and that they also parcel food. “They consume a minimum of 500g of plastic in the form of carry bags and foil to parcel food. This accounts for 10,000kg of plastic every day,” he told the Times of India.
Planning for the ban well in advance, restaurants are finding alternatives like asking customers to bring containers for takeaway food plus giving them a five percent discount to encourage them to be environment-friendly. The restaurant also are planning to give takeaway food in tiffin boxes against a security deposit. “They can return these boxes and get their caution deposit or bring their own containers for parcels as an alternate for plastics,” explains M Venkata Subbu, President of Tamil Nadu Hotels Association reports the Times of India.
Even TASMAC has stepped up and has already asked bars to discard the use of single-use plastics. “The bars have been asked to use glasses instead. We are also going to provide jute bags to customers to carry liquor bottles at 25 elite shops in Chennai. We will float tenders for the bags,” a senior Tasmac official told the Times of India.