Demand for wooden cutlery on the rise as plastic ban kicks in

Wooden cutlery, trays, stirrers and plates are witnessing a sharp increase in demand as India bans single-use plastic items with effect July 1.

Manufacturers of wooden cutlery in places like Moradabad, Saharanpur, Delhi and Kolkata said they were getting up to 25% more orders compared with a couple of months ago.

Starting this month, 19 single-use plastic items, from forks, spoons, straws, trays and ear buds to wrapping or packaging films on sweet boxes and cigarette packets and PVC banners of less than 100 microns are banned in India.

"Some of the buyers had started purchasing beforehand to be ready with the stock. But now there are lots of queries coming in," said Humza Khan, owner of Moradabad-based Indian Crafts Inc. "The demand is more from South India. Wooden plates and forks are in great demand."

Local search engine Just Dial in its consumer insight report said during the March-May period, searches for wood and bamboo dealers on the platform jumped by 35% from the previous three months. Almost 80% of the searches were for wood dealers and the rest for bamboo. Demand also shot up for a wide range of wooden cutlery like spoons, knives and forks, wooden trays, wooden stirrers, wooden ice-cream spoons and bamboo sticks, according to the report.

Prasun Kumar, chief marketing officer of Just Dial, said: "Sustainability is at the core of businesses now and is bringing changes across the funnel. This has led to a spike in demand for wood and bamboo dealers as manufacturers look for sustainable alternatives for single-use plastics to comply with government regulations. Searches for wood and bamboo dealers in Tier-I cities were up by 22% and in Tier-II by 29%."

Mohammed Yusuf, owner of Saharanpur-based Begum Arts, said he was receiving purchase queries from buyers in Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai "Wooden tray, spoon, fork and plates are in great demand. The demand is coming from hotels, restaurants and families."

Demand for wooden spoons was the highest in Mumbai and Delhi among the top cities.

Source: The Economics Times