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India has enough capacity and technological know-how to manufacture paper straws in the country, the Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA) said on Thursday. The IPMA statement comes at a time when the country’s beverage makers are calling for an extension to the upcoming ban on single-use plastic straws from July 1.

Companies such as Parle Agro, Amul, Dabur and industry bodies have urged the government to exempt plastic straws or grant them an extension citing a severe shortage in the supply of paper straws. They also stated that currently India does not have the capacity to manufacture these 3mm straws in India.

This ban is part of the government’s notification of August 13, 2021, where it banned the manufacture, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of various single-use plastic products from July 1.

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Importing paper straws, FMCG industry added, was not only much more expensive but was also in short supply due to growing global demand.

“Logistics costs are also 5 times higher now and importing straws cannot be a solution to that. A six-month lead time would allow the industry to move here in India, build the required capacity Schauna Chauhan, CEO of Parle Agro, told CNBC-TV18 earlier this month.

However, IPMA says that there are several paper mills in India that already manufacture the base paper, meeting all the required technical parameters, for making paper straws.

“A false impression is created by some in the general public that there is currently no Indian paper mill capable of making the paper required to make paper straws. Any additional paper requirements for making paper straws may also be easily accommodated by Indian paper mills,” IPMA Chairman AS Mehta said in the statement.

The industry has claimed that the current availability of paper straws will only represent 10-15% of industry demand, and therefore could cause massive disruption, as small tetra packs using these smaller straws represent approximately 40-60% of beverage portfolios. of some of these companies. Amul sells about 15 to 20 lakh straws per day attached to its products like lassi and buttermilk.

The Action Alliance for Recycling Beverage Cartons (AARC), an industry body that represents 70% of the beverage industry, said companies will either have to sell these tatrapacks without straws, which would then impact their value proposition. convenience and therefore sales, or will have to remove these products from the shelves.

According to IPMA estimates, the FMCG industry will need 12,000 to 18,000 metric tons of paper per year – to meet the annual needs of 6 billion straws of 2 to 3 grams each. This, he claims, can be satisfied by Indian paper mills without any difficulty.

He also added that some large enterprises and many units of MSMEs for making paper straws are expected to be operational soon to meet the increased demand in the country.

“Any request for an extension of the deadline should not be made on the pretext of insufficient national availability of paper, which is factually incorrect,” added the IPMA.

Meanwhile, the government has yet to respond to industry demands, and on July 1, all single-use plastic will be banned.

(Edited by : Anand Singha)

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