The Bring Your Own Bag initiative received a warm welcome and was adopted by retail stores across the country. Now, the Tamil Nadu Hotels Association has made an interesting announcement along similar lines!
The association, which has over 10,000 members, has announced a discount of 5% in the bill if customers bring their own utensils! This was a unanimous decision and comes after the Tamil Nadu government decided to ban the usage of single-use plastic starting from January 2019.
Excessive plastic usage is a major problem in the food industry, especially when it comes to food packaging where the use of plastic carry bags and plastic containers is rampant.
The Hindu states that there are more than two lakh restaurants and eateries in the state alone, and with takeaways and parcels making a huge percentage of restaurants orders, the ban could drastically decrease the usage of the single-use plastics.
Speaking to The Hindu, R Srinivasan, the secretary of the association, said, “People in places like Vellore, Chidambaram and Madurai have already started requesting customers to bring their own utensils. It will bring back the era of the ‘carrier meals.’ Some 40 years ago, every home had a brass or stainless steel carrier, and it was a travel companion. But after the advent of plastics, the humble carrier was given a farewell.”
India is slowly realising the various issues associated with the usage of plastic, and as reported in multiple publications, the government has pledged to ban all single-use plastics by 2022. Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, among other states, implemented a ban on plastic use, earlier this year.
The ban was hailed by the public, while eateries came up with novel ideas like using stainless steel containers to pack food, where customers would deposit Rs 200 and receive the amount once the carrier was returned.
Restaurants in the state are also taking steps like using banana leaves to pack food, instead of using aluminium foils. “We are looking at alternatives like aluminium foil and cardboard boxes since not everyone can bring their own utensils,” said Vishnu Shankar of Adyar Ananda Bhavan (Chennai) to The Hindu.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)