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Tipplers add to plastic pile
The Hindu, December 06, 2018


CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (Tasmac) is arguably the single largest consumer of low-grade plastic cups. Ball park figures show that over 80,000 plastic cups are used daily (the figure was arrived at based on the number of bars, average liquor consumed at bars and footfalls, among other parameters). Cups used for drinking water were included in this analysis. Beer was not taken into consideration while making this calculation as tipplers prefer drinking directly from bottles.

As of May 2018, Tasmac had 3,866 retail vending shops and 1,456 bars attached to these shops across the State. On an average, Tasmac sells liquor worth about Rs. 70 crore per day during weekdays. During weekends and festive days, this figure goes up to Rs. 100 crore. More than 60% of consumers who come to Tasmac prefer drinking at the attached bars.

A source in the Tasmac employees union said, “Apart from plastic cups, we use loads of plastic spoons and plastic sheets to line plates. We are wondering what alternative we can use now.”

Those in charge of bars attached to Tasmac shops said that they are still discussing possible alternatives to plastic. A senior official from Tasmac said, “We have asked them (bars) to comply with the deadline, which is December 31.” Tipplers are charged Rs. 4 to Rs. 7 (per cup) for these plastic cups. In the wholesale market these cups can be procured at 26 paise/cup.

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