‘It was an early evening when my chef asked me to get few vegetables for the last minute orders that came in at my restaurant. Nobody at hand, I decided to step out for a quick shop and head straight back. The list was long. What wasn’t on the list and on my mind was this important thing – the Plastic ban was effective in the state.
Can you imagine what my plight was when,
A. I needed to carry almost 2kgs of vegetables
B. I had no carry bags
C. I had to head back almost immediately to get that dish done’
We suppose these few days, not just FBOs but common people are facing the heat of ‘no plastic bag available’. Though commendable on the effect this will have on the environment, a sudden ban on plastic with just 1-3 months duration to comply with the order, has left several FBOs bewildered on how should they sell their packaged products?
What is the matter?
Citing the environmental hazard plastic items were causing, the State had issued the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products (Manufacture, Usage, Sale, Transport, Handling and Storage) notification that banned the sale, use, manufacture, distribution, import and transportation of all and any kind of plastic material. This ban brings under itself thermocol, bags, cups, spoons, plates, etc.
How has this affected the Food Businesses?
This plastic ban has raised questions in the minds of Food businesses, which depend on reaching their products to the consumers in the plastic deliverables like bottles, containers, and plates!
Not just Food manufacturers, but restaurants, hospitals, retail stores, local vegetable vendors are all baffled and worried about the imposed plastic ban. Basic operations like serving, carrying, transporting, distribution, etc., depending upon the use of plastic in the food industry. Very few products are sold in glass or fibre and FBOs are now under a big question.
Does plastic affect food product?
Yes. Certain types of plastics harm the food products they contain. Bisphenol – A, commonly called as BPA, and Phthalates are common chemicals that are found in food products that are packed in containers. Earlier, the levels of BPA found in the food was considered acceptable. However, the increasing awareness and the findings of the harm BPA and Phthalates causes, the move is initiated.
What alternatives are adopted to the plastic ban?
More than 25 lakh plastic bottles of 500 ml capacity alone are used, while a whopping 30lakhs of them are thrown daily. Moreover,
In place of plastic manufacturing, the government is encouraging the manufacture of cloth bags by releasing funds to the self-help groups. Also, a buyback policy for all plastic containers will be an innovative step, since this will lower the loss incurred while buying the packaging materials.
What can a Food Business Operator do to ensure his business remains unaffected by the plastic ban?
Let’s check out some points that, as a food business, you can do to ensure your business and food quality remains in the best form –
1. Use fibre-made containers instead of cheap plastic. Fibre is equally sturdy with no reactivity to food
2. Use cloth bag for delivery or use paper bags
3. Implement the use of hemp, canvas, glass, ceramic, leather or woven plastic which is relatively recycled
4. Cardboards are excellent home-delivery alternatives, co-joined with aluminum foil containers
5. Picking up the glass utensils by the food manufacturers from customers can be a revolutionary step in curbing the waste generated and in the recycling process
How can Equinox Labs help you with the Plastic Ban?
1. Free Consultation on Food Safety associated with the plastic ban
2. Audits which includes the kind of materials that can be used for particular food products
3. Labeling Validation including the kind of packaging material that can be used
4. Product Approval and Chemical testing for estimating the presence of toxic elements in the food sample
What are your thoughts on the recent plastic ban for your business? Share with us!
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BTW, the restaurant owner from above? Well, his assistant did come to his aid amidst the plastic ban and helped carry all the items in a cloth carry bag!