Packaged drinking water firms told to find alternatives to plastic bottles in three days

Packaged drinking water

In order to meet the deadline of single-use plastic ban that kicks in on October 2, Ministry of Consumer Affairs has given three days to the packaged drinking water industry to come up with a solution for it.

Ministry of Consumer Affairs held a meeting of the industry players on Monday, which was also attended by secretaries of various ministries. The members deliberated to find an alternate to single-use plastic with some suggesting replacing plastic bottles with high level PET bottles, while others pitching for cardboard packs and glass bottles.

However, the industry representatives had a very mixed view after the meeting.

Behram Mehta, managing director of AAVA Natural Mineral Water, said, “India has set a world record of recycling 92% PET plastic and we should continue this wave of replacing single-use plastic with PET. Replacing bottles with glass bottles is not a good alternative since a lot of energy will be used in the glass furnace and a lot of water will be used to make the bottle.” He also feared that once the ban kicks in one crore jobs will be in danger and the micro, small and medium enterprises will find it hard to survive since not every company can afford to go ahead with costly alternatives.

A K Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry Of Consumers Affairs, said, “Many alternatives were discussed today, from glass bottles to cardboard packs for water. Cardboard as an alternative is a challenge as plastic and metal sheet is used to make it and on the other hand glass bottles is also challenging. We have asked our experts to look into these sources and urgently come up with a solution.” He said a blanket ban on all types of single-use plastic products in the ministry as well as PSUs from September 15 is on the track.

Source: DNA India

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