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    India has enough paper straw capacity: Paper Manufacturers Assoc ahead of plastic straw ban

    India has enough paper straw capacity: Paper Manufacturers Assoc ahead of plastic straw ban

    India has enough paper straw capacity: Paper Manufacturers Assoc ahead of plastic straw ban
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    By Shilpa Ranipeta   IST (Published)

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    The Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA) stated that India has the capacity and technological know-how to manufacture paper straws domestically.

    India has enough capacity and the technological know-how to manufacture paper straws in the country, the Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA) said on Thursday. IPMA’s statement comes at a time when beverage makers in the country have been calling for an extension on the upcoming ban on single-use plastic straws from July 1.
    Companies such as Parle Agro, Amul, Dabur and industry bodies have been urging the government to either exempt plastic straws or give them an extension citing an acute shortage of supply of paper straws. They have also said that currently India doesn't have the capacity to make these straws of 3mm in India.
    This ban is part of the government’s August 13, 2021 notification, where it prohibited the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of various single-use plastic products from July 1.
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    Importing paper straws, the FMCG industry added, was not only much more expensive, but was also in short supply due to growing global demand.
    “Logistics costs are also 5x more now and importing straws cannot be a solution to this. Six months’ time would allow the industry to set up infra here in India, build required capacity,” Schauna Chauhan, CEO, Parle Agro told CNBC-TV18 earlier this month.
    However, the IPMA says that there are several paper mills in India that are already manufacturing the base paper, meeting all the requisite technical parameters, for making paper straws.
    “A wrong impression is being created by some in the general public that presently there is no Indian paper mill that can manufacture the required paper for making paper straws. Any additional paper requirement for making paper straws can also easily be met by Indian paper mills,” A S Mehta, President of IPMA said in the statement.
    The industry has claimed that current availability of paper straws will only make up for 10-15 percent of the industry demand, and so could cause massive disruption as small tetra packs that use these smaller straws make up about 40-60 percent of the beverage portfolios of some of these companies. Amul sells about 15-20 lakh straws daily attached to its products like lassi and buttermilk.
    The Action Alliance for Recycling Beverage Cartons (AARC), an industry body that represents 70 percent of the beverage industry has said that companies will either have to sell these tatrapacks without straws, which would then impact their value proposition of convenience and therefore sales, or will have to take these products off the shelves.
    According to IPMA’s estimates, the FMCG industry will require 12,000-18,000 metric tonnes of paper a year – to meet the annual requirement of 6 billion straws of 2-3 grams each. This, it claims can be catered to by Indian paper mills without any difficulty.
    It also added that some large corporates and many MSME units for manufacturing paper straws are expected to be operational shortly to cater to the increased demand in the country.
    “Any demand for extension of the deadline should not be done on the pretext of inadequate domestic availability of paper, which is factually incorrect,” IPMA added.
    Meanwhile, the government has not responded to the requests of the industry yet, and coming July 1, all single-use plastic will be banned.
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