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Plastic ban in Maharashtra: Parceled food could now cost more

Rakesh Trivedi

Plastic ban in Maharashtra: Parceled food could now cost more
PTI Photo

Mumbai: Barely days after a state-wide ban on use of plastic can into force across Maharashtra, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) has said that the cost of procuring recycled and reusable containers could be passed on to consumers.

Santosh Shetty, president of AHAR, said on Wednesday that reusable containers for food costs anywhere between Rs 1 and Rs 3 depending on the size. This could result in a 20% increase in cost of food for customers looking to take back food from restaurants. "The reusable and recycled containers are costlier and are affecting our business. We are taking a moral stand and expecting citizen and authorities to co-operate with us," he said.

Till now, single-use plastic containers were used to provide any leftover food at restaurants but the ban means that eateries have to look for environmentally safer alternatives which apparently cost more.

While Shetty also alleged that restaurant owners are now being harassed by BMC officials and that there is lack of clarity over the plastic ban, he also said there is a possibility that customers can be provided with a buyback option under which they would be returned the money for reusable containers if they choose to bring it back.

The state government's ban on plastic items came into effect from last Saturday with fines ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 for repeat offenders. "We want to promote responsible use of plastic. Therefore, we have banned the kind of plastic that cannot be collected, regulated and recycled," CM Devendra Fadnavis has told news agency PTI last week.