plastic straw ban: Sipping your juice on the go may become a little complicated from next month


Sipping your juice on the go may become a little complicated starting next month.

The plastic straw that made it so convenient to consume the Amul Masti buttermilk, Frooti, Real juices and a host of other drinks straight from their packs is set to disappear, at least for now, unless the government postpones the deadline to do away with it. Companies say they don’t yet have enough alternatives to these humble slender tubes, which are being banned as part of single-use plastics.

“We will have to remove the plastic straws from July 1, if the ban is not deferred. That will cause inconvenience to consumers and will impact sales of the on-the-go packs,” said RS Sodhi, managing director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which sells the Amul brand of products. “We are putting our own manufacturing line for paper straws,” Sodhi added.

Infrastructure for making paper straws locally at scale is non-existent today. Companies said they are putting up the manufacturing lines from scratch, but it would take time.

For now, several firms have placed import orders for paper straws, but the quantity would not be enough. Imports will also be costlier and hurt the profit margins at the entry-level, fast-moving ₹10 and ₹20 packs, they said.

The industry wants the government to push back the deadline at least by a year. A meeting this week with government officials, where the companies lobbied for deferment of the ban, remained inconclusive. “As of now, we would be able to cover only 10-15% of our requirement with the imported paper straws as there is a huge global demand-supply gap,” said Shahrukh Khan, executive director, operations, at

, which sells the Real juices.

Work in Progress

Dabur too is working on finding local solutions and alternatives to replace plastic straws. “However, these developments are still work in progress, and it would take around 18 months for adequate capacity to be set up within the country to produce such alternates,” Khan said.

India annually sells about 6 billion small packs of paper-based beverage cartons of 75-250 ml in size. Amul alone sells about 500 million buttermilk and lassi packs a year.


Also, Indians are increasingly consuming healthier fruit juices and milk drinks, often preferring to buy the small tetra packs that come with a straw and can be easily disposed of.

Coca-Cola said earlier this month that its mango juice drink Maaza had become its fastest growing brand, overtaking the growth rate of its aerated drinks Thums Up and Sprite. Maaza sells in small cartons as well as bottles.

From making representations to concerned government ministries such as the environment ministry to writing to the Prime Minister’s Office, companies have been seeking more time to transition to alternative material straws, which they said could add to packaging costs and either hurt their profit margins or have to be passed on to consumers.


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