The plastic ban in Maharashtra has received a lot of praise but has also raised quite a few eyebrows. While the residents of the city are banned from using single-use plastic bags and will be fined heavily if caught using them, what about the plastic packaging of say, chips and soft-drinks? Will Maharashtra ever be completely plastic free?
We have all joked about the proportion of air to chips in a Lay’s packet, but perhaps, we won’t do it anymore, thanks to the snack makers’ efforts to meet the norms set by the Maharashtra plastic ban.
Snack manufacturers, like PepsiCo India, ITC and Cavinkare have shown enthusiasm in altering their current ways to meet the plastic ban in various states, including Maharashtra.
Speaking to The Times of India, a spokesperson of ITC said, “Over the next decade, ITC will deploy superior solutions so that 100% of its product packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable. Already, over 99% of solid waste generated in ITC’s factories is recycled.”
One way the snack manufacturers are looking to be more eco-friendly is by resizing their packs. The packs that we see currently are big-sized but contain a small portion of chips inside them.
This is because the packs are purposely puffed with air, to keep the snacks safe during transportation and storage.
Without a puffed packet, the chips might just crumble before they reach you.
However, to follow Maharashtra’s plastic ban norms, the packs may be filled with an inert gas like argon, which does not react with any other substance and also doesn’t provide a healthy atmosphere for micro-organisms to grow. Another option is to completely vacuum seal the packet.
Companies manufacturing Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) are also looking for alternatives to replace PET bottles. Currently, the plastic used in the manufacturing stage is exempt from the ban. But the Maharashtra government has instructed FMCG Companies to find solutions to the plastic distributed along with their products. The companies can either collect their plastic wrappers and bottles or find eco-alternatives to them.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)