Online grocery delivery platform Big Basket has stopped wrapping products in cling film after the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) warned the company against using single-use plastic. A representative for Big Basket confirmed to TNM that this will be implemented across India.
BBMP Commissioner for Solid Waste Management Randeep D on Sunday warned that the firm would be penalised if it failed to stop the use of cling film, a thin transparent plastic film that is used as a wrapping or covering for food.
"Commencing on September 1, Big Basket would be penalised substantially if they continue using cling film. Please note that the new Solid Waste Management Bye laws allow BBMP to close down stores and suspend or cancel trade licenses if such single use plastics including cling film are being used," he said in a social media post on Sunday.
Commencing Sept 1st, 2019 @bigbasket_com would be penalised substantially if they continue using cling film. Please note that the new SWM Bye laws allow #BBMP to close down store and suspend / cancel trade license if such single use plastics incl cling film are being used. https://t.co/rebEb6PFhSâ€” Randeep D (@Randeep_Dev) August 25, 2019
Big Basket responded to Randeep's warning by stating that it would stop the use of cling film in packaging. "We are stopping the use of cling film. We used it only for coconut since we felt that it was not hygienic but looking at the reaction, we agree that it should not be used and we will be stopping it," TN Hari, head of Human Resources, Big Basket told TNM.
He added that the company is reconsidering packing vegetables using starch due to its similarity in appearance with plastic. "We do not use plastic packing. We pack fruits and vegetables using paper and we pack leafy vegetables using a biodegradable material called starch. We received feedback that consumers are treating this as plastic waste and this creates a problem during recycling. We are evaluating our options on this," Hari added.
Randeep had previously stated that a lot of packaging waste ends up in landfills but the BBMP is yet to compile figures to understand the gravity of the problem.
From September 1, the civic body will impose its existing ban on using plastics under stringent rules of Solid Waste Management, 2019. Under these rules, officials can also suspend the trade license or shut down shops for repeat violations.