‘Al­ter­na­tives to plas­tic will sour milk prices’

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - From p1

“We are in the busi­ness of sell­ing milk,” says Dnyanesh­war Pawar of the Milk Pro­duc­ers’ Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion of Ma­ha­rash­tra, “Col­lect­ing and re­cy­cling is not our cup of tea. If the gov­ern­ment in­sists, we will have to switch to al­ter­nate pack­ag­ing which is ei­ther tetra pack or glass bot­tles. And this will def­i­nitely cost the con­sumer.”

In­dranil Chi­tale, of Chi­tale Dairy, which sup­plies four lakh litres of milk ev­ery day, con­curred with Pawar. “The new norms will def­i­nitely cost more, which will be passed on to the buyer,” he said, “The gov­ern­ment first needs to cre­ate an al­ter­na­tive vi­able sys­tem. Glass bot­tles will cause safety and hy­giene is­sues. Tetra pack costs will be up to Rs 30 per litre.”

Ro­hit Sachdev of Lucky Graphic said that fears of such huge costs were un­re­al­is­tic. He pegs the rise at no more than Rs 2 to Rs 5 per litre. “Tetra packs are used in the Euro­pean Union to sup­ply milk and juices, while in Ja­pan, thick and trans­par­ent plas­tic bot­tles are used,” he says. “These plas­tic bot­tles can be eas­ily re­cy­cled. Glass bot­tle sup­plies were fea­si­ble a few decades ago as the pop­u­la­tion was less and con­sump­tion wasn’t as high.”

Kadam too said that the milk sup­pli­ers were en­gag­ing in fear-mon­ger­ing over pric­ing. “I have called a meet­ing on Tues­day with all the stake­hold­ers. We had them given them six months to sort out al­ter­na­tives but they are cry­ing as if this was or­dered just yesterday. We will not be cowed down by such tac­tics,” he said.

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