Banned Single-Use Plastic Products Still Flooding Indian Markets: Study Reveals Implementation Challenges

Banned Single-Use Plastic Products Still Flooding Indian Markets: Study Reveals Implementation Challenges

Banned Single-Use Plastic Products Still Flooding Indian Markets: Study Reveals Implementation Challenges

One year following India’s ban on specific single-use plastic items, a recent study conducted by Toxics Link, titled “India’s Single-Use Plastic Ban,” has discovered the prevalent use of these prohibited plastic products in five major Indian cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Guwahati, and Gwalior, notably in local stores and markets. Although certain single-use plastic products (SUPPs) were officially banned on July 1 last year, it seems that the enforcement of this ban remains largely ineffective. This evident violation casts serious doubt on India’s endeavours to reduce plastic pollution.

The worldwide production of plastic waste, totalling approximately 400 million tonnes annually, continues to pose a significant environmental challenge due to insufficient management capacity. At the core of this issue is the prevailing ‘take, make, use, and dispose’ model that characterizes the plastic economy, promoting the widespread use of SUPPs. This leads to the generation of vast quantities of non-biodegradable waste, often carelessly discarded and ultimately finding its way into landfills and oceans. Subsequently, this waste breaks down into micro- and nano-plastics, posing a grave threat to the entire ecosystem.

In an effort to address this problem, India implemented a ban on specific SUPPs nationwide from July 1, 2022, aiming to reduce the usage of products with low utility and high littering potential that harm the environment and public health. Nearly a year since the ban’s introduction, it is crucial to assess its effectiveness and understand the challenges in its implementation. This study sought to evaluate the ban’s implementation, analyse the availability of substitutes for SUPPs, and identify the obstacles to their adoption. The resulting report offers key recommendations to enhance compliance and achieve a substantial reduction in the use of SUPPs.

To evaluate the accessibility of SUPPs and their potential substitutes, surveys were conducted in five cities spanning different regions of India. Subsequently, interviews were conducted with relevant stakeholders to gain insights into the impediments hindering the transition to substitute products. The findings revealed that, of the five cities surveyed, Delhi exhibited the lowest level of compliance with the ban’s implementation, with banned SUPPs still accessible at 88% of the surveyed locations. In contrast, Bengaluru displayed the highest level of compliance, with SUPPs available at 55% of the surveyed points. Gwalior (84%), Mumbai (71%), and Guwahati (77%) also reported a substantial presence of SUPPs at the surveyed locations. This raises concerns as, nearly one year post-ban implementation, SUPPs continue to be available at more than half of the surveyed points in these five cities.

Though consumption of banned items has gone down, especially in branded sector, there is still large-scale use in many segments. The informal economy, largely, continues its SUPPs usage, especially plastic carry bags, cutlery, straws, etc. In-depth analysis of the collected data gives an insightful view and points out the SUPPs that have been affected by the ban and the ones that have suffered limited impact.

The most abundantly found SUPP in all cities was restricted carry bags (mainly plastic carry bags <120 microns); their average availability was as high as 64%. Similarly, SUPPs such as thermocol for decorations, balloon and earbuds with plastic sticks were widely available. This is highly disappointing as substitutes for these SUPPs are easily available in the market. On the positive note, use of plastic stirrers and plastic sticks in ice cream was not noted in any of the five surveyed cities. Another positive outcome is the reduction of plastic cutlery, straws, cups and plates in eating places.

The overall availability across cities for these SUPPs is below 30% while the availability of sustainable substitutes is higher. Another key point observed in the survey findings is availability of SUPPs and its correlation with location type. For example, street food (chaat) vendors, coconut sellers, vegetable vendors and small stalls in markets, weekly and wholesale markets do not comply with the ban in all five cities, but formal eating places, malls and metro stations mostly obey the ban. This probably indicates that ban compliance is driven by the economics and the degree of enforcement at a location; formal or branded locations that can afford substitutes and are monitored strongly under laws have to a large extent switched to substitutes. In comparison, a street vendor or a small shopkeeper are yet to switch to substitutes as they are weakly regulated and also because of the cost of substitutes. However, small, a price margin makes a substantial difference to them. Shopkeepers/ vendors also find the availability and their access to substitutes to be a challenge.

Another important factor that decides compliance appears to be consumer behaviour; many shopkeepers say that consumers demand SUPPs.

Regulatory agencies in one of surveyed state says that for the first year of the ban, the focus has been more on larger establishments and ensuring compliance there. Also, the attempt has also been to cut off supply. The issue of livelihood is also another factor to be considered, while being not so stringent in the informal economy, but the next phase is expected to focus on that. Another state agency points out the lack of economically feasible substitutes as a key factor.

Finally, the study presented recommendations based on the findings and stakeholder inputs. First, the enforcement and monitoring process needs to be stronger and uniform across locations. For this, the study suggests that, in addition to the regulatory agency increasing its vigilance, third monitoring could be helpful. Second, the study suggests that the availability of SUPPs can be reduced only when the supply of banned products is disrupted with effective monitoring at the manufacturing level. Regular checks are recommended at the manufacturing units.

Availability of economically and functionally feasible substitutes will need market-based policy tools to incentivise production and adoption. For instance, economic incentives should be provided to substitute manufacturers — raw materials for substitutes could be made tax free or subsidies added to make production cheaper. Additionally, training and skills needed for the incubation of substitute micro-enterprises should be conducted.

Last, stakeholder engagement should be fostered and inputs from all stakeholders regarding the bottlenecks should be incorporated in the implementation process. Since customers are one of the most important stakeholders, environmental education and regular campaigns should be used to increase awareness and reinforce ban-compliant consumer behaviour. The study proposes that the penalties collected while enforcing the ban should be used to conduct regular monitoring, awareness campaigns, skill development and distribution of substitutes to SUPPs.

Though malls and metro stations show strong adherence to the ban, the study finds that shopping markets, weekly markets, and wholesale markets have major enforcement gaps. Despite their controlled environments, plastic carry bags are also frequently used on railway platforms, bus depots, and tourist spots. Furthermore, despite the availability of viable alternatives, the continued presence of SUPPs in the food business, including restaurants, food stalls, and street food vendors in all cities, raises serious concern about the effectiveness of the product ban.

“Single-use plastics play a significant role in exacerbating the plastic pollution crisis, and the study’s findings highlight significant deficiencies in the ban’s enforcement in India, particularly within the informal economy. The unrestricted use and circulation of banned single-use plastics are alarming, and their open sale on e-commerce platforms is equally concerning,” remarked Priti Banthia Mahesh, Chief Programme Coordinator at Toxics Link. She emphasized, “While alternatives are accessible in the market, it is equally important to adopt a life cycle approach to assess these substitutes before their widespread adoption.”

In Delhi, one of the surveyed cities, significant usage of banned SUPPs has been noted during the study. In a shocking finding, the study reports that 100% of the surveyed vegetable shops, and markets, including wholesale and weekly, sweet shops, bus depots, and chaat shops in Delhi are providing restricted plastic carry bags, indicating its widespread usage and possible littering. Usage of plastic carry bags was very high in other points as well, including tourist spots and small restaurants.  Disposable cups, straws, and plates, made of plastic, are available at 54%, 45%, and 43% of the points respectively, indicating a high volume of use. Thermocol for decorations, balloons, and earbuds with plastic sticks are available at almost all surveyed points in the city. The use of the banned products was seen in 100% of the food stalls and chaat vendors, coconut water sellers, grocery shops, markets, and bhandaras. Interestingly, SUPPs were absent in malls and ice cream parlours.

“It is important to recognise that while progress has been made, there is still a substantial journey ahead in curbing the prevalence of single-use plastic products in our cities. The varying levels of compliance across different locations and product types highlight the complexity of this challenge,” said Satish Sinha, Associate Director at Toxics Link. He adds, “Stakeholders must come together and build on the positive shifts observed while addressing the areas that require immediate intervention. Our goal is to cultivate a sustainable ecosystem that not only enriches our communities but also safeguards our planet.”

Key Findings

According to the survey data, SUPPs are still easily available across all five cities. Amongst the surveyed cities, Bengaluru is the most ban compliant with SUPPs in use at 55% survey points. Delhi is the least compliant city as 88% of survey points still provide SUPPs.

  • The survey data points out that the outcome of the ban is different for different SUPPs. Restricted carry bags, mostly plastic bags (<120 microns), is the most commonly available banned item — found at 64% of the total survey points.
  • Despite having substitutes in the market, products such as thermocol for decoration (74%), balloon and earbuds with plastic sticks (60% each) are also widely available.
  • The survey did not record any use of plastic stirrers and plastic sticks in ice-cream parlours across all five cities.
  • All other SUPPs are available in all cities.
  • An overall reduction in the use of plastic cutlery, cups, plates and straws is visible across eating joints in all cities. The average availability in total survey points is below 30% for these SUPPs, while availability of substitutes to these products is higher than 30% in most cities. It is also encouraging to see that around 90% of survey points used substitutes to plastic plates in nearly all five cities. However, it is also disheartening to see that more than 50% of the survey points in Delhi still use plastic cups and cutlery.
  • In the case of SUPPs such as plastic straws, cutlery and sometimes carry bags, users often drink/ eat straight from their cups and plates and shopkeepers hand out products without any carry bag. This is a positive shift that leads to a reduction in total waste generation.
  • Higher percentages of coconut water sellers, juice shops, street food (chaat) and vegetable vendors and shops in markets are not ban compliant.
  • Another commercial location that could be the potential source of SUPPs are party decoration shops. Most party decoration shops across all cities, except Bengaluru, continue to sell SUPPs.
  • Compliance is higher in locations that are strictly regulated, such as malls and metro stations. Most religious spots in all five cities are also ban compliant.

Table: Availability of different SUPPs in surveyed cities

SUP ItemBengaluruDelhiMumbaiGuwahatiGwaliorOverall
Restricted carry bags54%64%57%69%78%64.4%
Plastic cutlery12%45%21%40%30%30%
Plastic cups23%54%28%30%13%30%
Plastic plates10%43%5%7%31%19%
Plastic straws30%45%22%10%29%27%
Plastic wrapping film27%47%Not available31%8%23%
Earbuds with plastic sticks25%90%43%40%100%60%
Candy with plastic stickNot available33%67%30%17%30%
Balloon with plastic sticks22%92%100%67%20%60%
Ice-cream with plastic stickNot availableNot availableNot availableNot availableNot available0%
Thermocol for decorationsNot available100%71%100%100%74%
Plastic stirrersNot availableNot availableNot availableNot availableNot available0%
PVC banner (100 microns)25%60%67%Not Available25%35%
Plastic flagsNot availableNot availableNot available100%100%40%

*Source: Single-use plastic ban in India: A report by Toxics Link.

Crucial Approaches to enforce Ban

Enforcing a ban on single-use plastics poses a substantial challenge in India, a nation marked by diverse geographical, social, economic, and cultural landscapes. Research on a global scale underscores the necessity for a multifaceted approach when implementing such bans. Ideally, this approach should encompass a combination of legislative and non-legislative actions involving multiple stakeholders. While India’s ban on Single Use Plastic Products (SUPPs) represents an initial stride, the effectiveness of this ban hinges on several critical factors. Among them, the cost and accessibility of substitutes, public awareness and knowledge, and effective monitoring and enforcement take precedence. In the context of a diverse country like India, this endeavour becomes more arduous and requires a conscious and comprehensive strategy. Key strategies may revolve around the following considerations:

Effective monitoring and enforcement mechanisms

The difference in compliance levels across different location types and different cities is indicative of the gaps in enforcement. It is also important to note that most recognised and large brands have made the shift as larger corporations with a great degree of public visibility are monitored more closely by the enforcement agencies and are also more sensitive to damage in reputation. In comparison, smaller businesses have limited financial capabilities to adapt to legislative changes, but also have lesser monitoring. This uneven monitoring and enforcement can lead to shift in the burden, and not really reduce the problem. To ensure good governance, enforcement, and monitoring, it is important to clearly distribute and define roles and responsibilities between local and national regulatory agencies. Sustained monitoring efforts are needed, as the users tend to go back to the convenient option the moment the enforcement weakens. It is also important to use punitive measures as the prosecution of offenders will help ensure compliance to the policy and act as a deterrent for others. User fines can also be a deterrent used to discourage consumers from asking for banned SUPPs. It is important for regulatory agencies at state and national levels to keep the public updated on the progress and benefits achieved, in order to continue building consensus and demonstrate accountability. Third party evaluation in July 2022, when the single-use plastic ban came into effect, there was a flurry of activities, including regular checks by most state agencies. With the months passing by, these checks have gone down due to a lack of resources with the enforcement agencies. But, as stated above, for the ban to work well, there is a need for sustained enforcement effort. In the absence of resources at state regulatory agencies, some of these could be outsourced and institutions like civil society organisations (CSOs) and consultancy groups could play an important role in monitoring ban compliance. In these cases, it will be necessary to also provide them with certain authority to take actions against violators. Additionally, academic institutions, researchers or CSOs could be also roped in to evaluate the ban at a regular interval, in order to understand challenges or changes on ground.

Control on manufacturing

Use is only possible when there is a regular supply. And it is clear from the study that most of the banned SUPPs are still available in the market and their supply has been uninterrupted. Several measures ought to be taken to check usage and monitor vendors and consumers. But it is absolutely necessary to crack down on the manufacture of the prohibited products. Regular and random checks at manufacturing units could help curb the production of these items.

Research and Development

The lack of alternatives has been identified as a crucial barrier by most stakeholders interviewed during this study. Experts in this field have also, since the beginning of the ban, stressed the importance of availability of feasible alternatives. Ecofriendly and fit-for-purpose alternatives should provide the same or better properties of the items that are being regulated. The study findings clearly highlight that the switch has been much easier where there are feasible (both economically as well as functionally) alternatives, like in the case of cutlery or plates. But the cost difference or functionality has been a question for some products; for example, in carry bags or straws. Therefore, there is a need for further research and development to bring in substitutes that can be adopted by various stakeholders.

Support to substitutes

The cost of substitutes is one major bottleneck, especially for smaller vendors or small users. If cheap and resistant alternatives are unavailable, the ban can negatively impact the poorest segments of the population. The uptake of affordable, eco-friendly, and fit-for-purpose alternatives can be facilitated through the introduction of economic incentives (including tax rebates, research and development funds, technology incubation support and public- 79 private partnerships). For example, certain materials used to manufacture alternatives, such as sugarcane, bagasse, bamboo, paper, or corn starch, can be made tax-free. To stimulate the substitute’s eco-system through creation of micro-enterprises, training could be organised to impart knowledge on new skill-sets related to production and promotion of alternatives. When promoting the use of substitutes, the agencies need to also consider their environmental and life cycle impact. Also, the study results have also shown use of compostable bags or other SUPPs. Currently, these materials end up getting mixed with other household waste. It is vital to consider the impact of mixing these with regular waste stream and whether a separate collection mechanism is required, as many of these may have a different composting need than wet waste.

Assessing the sustainability of existing substitutes

Some research studies have pointed out that many substitutes available in the markets might not be entirely eco-friendly when assessed under Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). For example, a study has pointed out that substitutes like paper straws may contain toxic chemicals like perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) which are detrimental to health. Therefore, proper research needs to be conducted to assess the sustainability and health impacts of substitutes before adopting or promoting them.

Expanding the scope

Stakeholders, particularly waste workers, have shared insights during informal discussions, highlighting the presence of non-banned single-use plastic in the waste stream. Many of these items lack recycling potential or are impractical to collect and recycle. This observation underscores the necessity to reconsider the list of banned items in the single-use plastics ban, extending its scope to encompass other low-value, high-impact SUPPs. Potential additions might include small sachets (e.g., for shampoo, ketchup), petite mineral water bottles, plastic wrapping on various products (such as cosmetics, notebooks, handwash, shampoo), cling film used on fruits and vegetables, and plastic film used in dishwasher products. Conducting a comprehensive study to identify such SUPPs and explore viable alternatives becomes imperative for future action.

Coupling bans with other policy tools

Bans can also effectively be coupled with economic instruments, like increasing taxes on materials used for problematic SUPPs, subsidies for switching to more sustainable alternatives and tax reductions on substitute materials or levies for products containing recycled materials.

Foster stakeholder engagement

The single use plastic ban in the country has affected a wide range of stakeholders from different economic and social background. Hence, to improve compliance, it is important to have a larger acceptance from the broadest range of stakeholders. Though there were some consultations held when the ban came into force, but one year down the line, it is important to revive these consultations to focus on the bottlenecks and the measures needed to improve compliance levels. And these deliberations should not be limited to large industry players, but also extend to MSME and informal groups who have been identified in this study as groups which are the large users at this point. Public consultation through online surveys could be another way of reaching out to consumers, not just for creating awareness but to also understand their reasons for shifting or not shifting to alternatives (like carry bags).

Behavioural change campaigns

Raising public awareness through environmental education is a key element when enforcing a ban like this. Evidence shows that resistance is likely to decrease if consumers are aware of the social, environmental, and economic impact. Knowledge helps individuals make informed decisions, and may encourage environmentally sustainable behaviour. Though there were numerous initiatives when the ban came into effect in July 2022, the visibility of such campaigns has since reduced. Also, the campaigns were more focused on creating awareness and not always prompting change in practice. For enhanced public acceptance and compliance with SUPP bans, behavioural change campaign, for different target audiences and economic groups need to be designed and put into action. Social and mass media can be used effectively. This needs to be a sustained effort, because changing mindsets and behaviour requires time. In addition to this, reusable bags can be distributed for free at the entrance of some location types, where the usage of plastic bags is high. Using the fund from the fines for an effort like this can be beneficial in changing people behaviour.

Fund management

The usage of banned single use plastic products invites fines at present and it is important that due consideration is given to how the revenue from this economic instrument will be used. It will be useful if these funds are managed with transparency and utilised to make the ban more effective on ground.


This article is an extract of a report on ‘Single use plastic ban in India’ by Toxics Link. For the full report, please go to-

Toxics Link is an Indian environmental research and advocacy organization set up in 1996, engaged in disseminating information to help strengthen the campaign against toxics pollution, and to provide cleaner alternatives. They also work on ground in areas of municipal, hazardous and medical waste management and food safety among others.

Plastic Ban in India: An Overview

Plastic Ban in India: An Overview

Plastic Ban in India: An Overview

In a commendable move, India had banned the use of ‘single-use plastic’ from July 1, 2022. India had banned the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of some well-known single-use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering potential. This policy could bring about significant change in India’s fight in checking plastic pollution.

Pallabi Boruah

 The Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change had issued the notification in August 2021 announcing a ban on single-use plastic effective from July 2022. Items like balloon sticks, cigarette packs, cutlery items including plates, cups, glasses, forks, spoons, knives, trays, earbuds, sweet boxes, etc. have been banned.

Single use plastic is a form of disposable plastic used in products like water bottles, straw, cups, etc. It can only be used once and then has to be discarded. Industries and companies are inclined towards producing single use plastics due to their cost-effectiveness. However, trade bodies like the All India Plastic Manufacturers Association (AIPMA) had suggested that the government extend the deadline for phasing out single use plastic products by a period of one year to 2023. 

Heavy usage of plastics across the world has caused quite a lot of hazard and peril. Governments and various global regulatory bodies are trying hard to contain and amend it. 

Plastic Waste Management Rules

The manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale, and use of single use plastic commodities shall be prohibited from July 1, 2022. These products include:

  • Ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene for decoration.
  • Plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic, or PVC banners less than 100 micron and stirrers.
  • The government has issued directives at the national, state, and local levels to not supply raw materials to industries that operate in banned items.
  • Additionally, with effect from December 31, 2022, the thickness of plastic carry bags must be increased from 75 microns to 120 microns to allow their re-use.
  • There is also a blanket ban already in place on sachets using plastic material for packing, storing, or selling pan masala, gutkha, and tobacco. 

India has a per capita plastic consumption of 11 kg compared to the global average of plastic per capita consumption of 28 kg, a report on plastic waste management by the Indian Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry revealed. It has also been found that dumping of plastic waste deteriorates soil and underground water quality due to leaching of additives, colourants, stabilizers and fillers present in the different categories of plastic products.

Rapid economic growth had fuelled demand for goods that come with single-use plastic products, such as straws and disposable cutlery. In India, which uses about 14 million tonnes of plastic annually, has always lacked an organised system for managing plastic waste, which has led to widespread littering. Plastic goods in eventuality chokes drains, rivers and oceans and also kill animals. According to the United Nations, plastic waste is found in alarming proportions in the world’s oceans. There is an estimated 100 million tonnes dumped there. Researchers have found large amounts of micro plastic in the intestines of deep-dwelling ocean mammals like whales.

In a respite to consumers, the government has for now exempted plastic bags but it has asked manufacturers to raise the thickness to encourage reuse and recycle. Hopefully, this ban will encourage people to use more reusable goods and contribute their bit in this fight against plastic pollution.

Consumer VOICE is sensitizing consumers with focus on children & youth, women groups on plastic pollution. We are encouraging consumers to reduce plastic from their daily lives by switching to sustainable alternatives and also encouraging community efforts in this regard.

Various workshops have been conducted and we also use social media channels to post videos, posts using informative graphics, facts, taking support of environment activists, etc. 

Our Green Action Week Campaign on Plastic Pollution : 


Frost-Free Refrigerators: A Smart Choice!

Frost-Free Refrigerators: A Smart Choice!

Frost-Free Refrigerators: A Smart Choice!

The refrigerator (or fridge) is a necessary household appliance today. It also keeps our food safe for consumption by keeping bacterial growth at bay for a longer period. Of course, it also keeps our favourite beverages cool and ready to be consumed anytime. It preserves the nutrients in our food. These are all things we can agree on. However, when it comes to buying a refrigerator, we all have to think on which brand/model/capacity is more suitable. Apart from personal tastes, the choice will largely depend on the storage capacity we need, our eating habits, space in the house and most importantly our budget. The very large number of models in the market may make the whole process more complicated than expected. Just the brand name may not be sufficient to base a buying decision on. Here, we bring to you some consolidated basic research on frost-free refrigerators, focusing on aspects such as gross volume, storage volume, electricity consumption and star rating – factors on the basis of which you can make a choice among the many brands/models. The first decision is necessarily choosing between a direct-cool refrigerator and a frost-free one. The former is typically much less expensive than the latter. A direct cool model produces the necessary chill through natural convection. Frost-free refrigerators, as the name implies, do not require any kind of manual defrosting. Also, the life expectancy of the current models of frost-free refrigerator is greater than that of the current direct-cool models in the market. There are inverter-type refrigerators that allow for varied speed and runs in longer cycles at low speed. These utilise electricity energy more efficiently. If upfront cost for buying is not a concern for you, then do look at refrigerators with inverter technology. The extra money you pay upfront will be recovered in the form of electricity savings. A convertible refrigerator gives you the extra space when the refrigerator runs out of storage space. Its freezer transforms into a fridge and back into a freezer as per your need.
When planning to buy a refrigerator, don’t rely on advertisements, thinking the most advertised brand is the best. You might miss some opportunities by not checking other brands. List out your needs and features important to you; considering your budget, choose the one best suited to you.
Family Size Capacity
Bachelors or couple Less than 200 litres
Small family 200 to 300 litres
Family of four 250 to 350 litres
Larger family 300 litres or more

Pointers to Know Before Buying a Refrigerator

  • What size and which type of brand and model do you want?
  • What does the star rating actually mean?
  • Does the refrigerator keep your food at a fixed temperature?
  • Why does the refrigerator have so many different compartments?
  • What do I need to know about the new features available?
  • Size/Capacity:It depends on the need, costing and space. A family of four can easily do with a 250–300 litres refrigerator.

Colour and Finish

Stainless-steel fridges bring that sleek, professional look to your kitchen but can be prone to showing fingerprints and other marks.  White fridges are easier to keep clean than their stainless-steel counterparts. Fridges in bright colours are increasingly popular. A black fridge is a modern alternative to a plain white appliance but without the fingerprint-showing tendencies of stainless steel, but they can be a little imposing and may make your kitchen itself seem darker.
  • Top- or bottom-mounted freezer:If price, range, efficiency and value are your biggest concerns, then a top-mounted fridge is for you. The disadvantage is you have to bend down to access the food compartment, which is the most used. Bottom-mounted fridges are all about convenience—and save you from back pain. Plenty of space and extra features make side-by-side fridges great for large families.
  • Star rating (energy consumption):Your fridge contributes to your energy bill, so choosing an efficient one will save you money. While larger fridges will use more energy overall than smaller ones, the energy star ratings help you compare relative energy efficiency. Choose the fridge with more stars when choosing between two similar-sized models because it will cost you less to run. In India, it is now mandatory to fix star rating label on refrigerators. Star rating denotes how energy-efficient your appliance is.
  • Compressor: It is the basic mechanism (heart), besides the freezer and condenser, by which the refrigerator works. A normal compressor runs at a constant speed throughout. On the other hand, an inverter compressor can run at varying speeds. It starts at a low speed and boosts up when there is a loss in cooling. This is in contrast with normal compressors that take off at a high speed, consuming more electricity and producing a lot of noise.
  • Cooling capabilities:It refers to the amount of time a refrigerator takes to decrease temperature to lower (minus) side. Faster cooling/freezing is desirable.
  • Noise:Whether refrigerator noise is an issue or not depends on your kitchen layout and its proximity to living and sleeping areas. Refrigerators can make a variety of strange noises due to compressor start up, automatic defrosting, electrical fans, and even from materials expanding and contracting as they change temperature. This is normal, but may be more noticeable in models that are quieter during normal running. Refrigerators typically operate at around 35 decibels during normal running.
  • Guarantee/warrantee:It is important to enquire about the guarantee/warrantee. Most refrigerators come with a one-year warrantee. The compressor warrantee may vary from 5 years to 10 years. The details are given in the warrantee card.

Keeping Food Cold and Safe?

Keeping food cold and safe for long periods is the whole point of a fridge, but not all are equal in this regard. Above 40 degrees F of food compartment is considered an unsafe zone, which means that food is susceptible to spoiling or growing harmful bacteria – therefore set the thermostat accordingly.  
  • How to set up your fridge’s temperature control settings:
    • Check if your fridge is set to the recommended settings from the manual.
    • Use a thermometer to measure internal temperature (summer and winter).
    • Adjust your settings until you have 3 degrees C (fridge) and -18 C (freezer).
    • Maintain good airflow inside the fridge to avoid hot and cold spots.
    • As a rule, keep an at least 5 cm clearance from wall/sides.
Comparison at a Glance: Frost-Free Refrigerators, 235300 litres Capacity, Double Door For our survey, we shortlisted regular-selling brands of frost-free refrigerators of 235–300 litres capacity, double door. We conducted the survey during April, 2022.
Sl No. Brand Model

Total Storage Volume


Freezer + Fresh Food



Electricity Consumption (unit / year) Convertible  Type BEE Star Rating Price, Rs. Warrantee, Years
1 Haier HEF-25TDS 258 68+190 182 kwh Yes 3 24690 1+10
2 Samsung RT28A3453S8/HL 253 69+184   No 3 24450 1+10
3 LG GL-I292RPZX 260 75+185 198 No 3    
4 Whirlpool IF INV CNV 278 3S 265 75+184 190 Yes 3 27240 1+10
5 Samsung RT30T3443S9/HL 275 69+206 199   3 27490 1+10
6 Whirlpool INTELLIFRESH INV CNV 305 3S 292 74+210 194 Yes 3 32490 1+10
7 Samsung RT30T3743S9/HL 275 255 199 Yes 3 28890 1+10
8 Samsung RT28A3032GS/HL 253 53+181 243 No 2 23990 1+10



FP 313D Protton Roy 300 73+223 500 No nil 32490 1+10
10 LG GL-I292RPZL 260 75+177 194 No 3 25290 1+10
11 Haier HEF-25TDS 258 68+190 182 yes 3 24690 1+10
12 Godrej RF EON 236B 25 HI SC DR 236 64+170 243 No 2 19985 1+10
13 LG I292RPZX 260 75+185 194 No 3 25290 1+10
14 Haier DAZZLE STEEL, HEB-25TDS 256 231 180 Yes 3 26190 1+10
15 Samsung RT28T3743S8/HL 253 69+184 193 yes 3 26290 1+10
16 LG GL-D241ASCY 235 35+200 143   4 21990  
17 Godrej RF EON 244C 35 RCIF ST RH 244 62+182 197 yes 3 22290 1+10
18 Whirlpool NEOFRESH GD PRM 305 2S 292 75+210 259 No 2 28990 1+10
19 Godrej RF EON 255B 25 HI RY DR 255 64+190 243 No 2 21990 1+10
20 Whirlpool 260 IMPRO PLUS ROY 4S INV ALPHA STEEL 245 47+198 140 No 4 22990 1+10
21 Toshiba



252 78+178 247 No 2 25590 1+10
22 Bosch CTC27S03EI 263 62+201   yes 3 27990 1+10
Note: Price may vary from retailer to retailer. Before buying please check latest price on or

These Are Important Too

  • Door: Make sure you can open the fridge doors easily and comfortably.
  • Temperature controls: Look for two separate temperature controls. A single control sets both the freezer and the fresh food compartment, so you can’t adjust one without affecting the other. Some electronic fridges have better independent controls.
  • Shelves: Shelves ought to be easy to remove and replace for cleaning or adjustment. Does the range of shelf positions suit your needs?
  • Rollers and adjustable feet: Rollers are useful for easy moving (such as when cleaning behind the fridge).Four rollers are better than two, provided they have brakes or adjustable feet to secure the fridge and stop it from escaping.
  • Dairy compartment: A slightly warmer area of the fridge, it is convenient for keeping butter and hard cheeses slightly soft.
  • Chiller (meat compartment): This compartment stores meat, fish and poultry (fresh or cooked) at a safe temperature, keeping it fresher for longer. Chiller temperature should be close to zero and ideally it should have a separate temperature control.
  • Child-proofing: Keep kids safe and choose a child-friendly fridge.
  • Door alarms: This feature is very useful because if the door does not shut all the way, then the door will either beep or chime. This helps prevent food and energy waste.

Tips for Using a Refrigerator

  • Avoid opening the fridge frequently – you will save power.
  • Clean off the condenser coils at least once a year.
  • Protect your fridge from high heat sources.
  • Reduce your frost accumulation if it’s a direct-cool refrigerator.
  • Let your food cool before putting it in.
  • Cover everything (food) stored.
  • Check the door seal for air leakage.
  • Clean the drain hole and drip pan.
  • Adjust level for easier closing of door.
  • Wipe all surface areas with a combination of dishwashing soap and warm water. Use a microfiber cloth or a good-quality sponge.
  • For stubborn stains, mix a small amount of baking soda with a little water to produce a thick paste. Apply the paste to the stain and leave for an hour before wiping with a damp sponge or cloth. Disinfectants should never be used inside refrigerators.
Coffee Makers for home: For a hot cuppa!

Coffee Makers for home: For a hot cuppa!

Coffee Makers for home: For a hot cuppa!

In a family where members have varying tastes, it becomes absolutely important to first decide what kind of coffee will be made on a daily basis. Are you looking for something basic to start with or are you keen on getting an espresso and cappuccino maker? Or are you considering investing in a superior, more advanced machine loaded with a variety of features? Just read the report that follows.

For many people, there’s no better way to start the day than with a great cup of coffee. But today’s coffee makers do far more. Some grind beans, others froth milk for lattes and macchiatos, and a few even brew iced coffee. You start out by thinking it’s only about an appliance that will give you your daily cuppa and so there can’t be anything much to ponder about. Then, when you do some basic research, you realize there is a whole world of features out there and not only that, there are all these coffeemakers with different features and different features in different combinations. So, what should be your pick?

Types of coffee makers

If one cup is enough to jumpstart your day, choose a one- or two-cup drip model or a single- serve machine. Need more? Choose a larger automatic drip or one of the specialty machines.

Most large models brew 10 to 12 cups.If you space your coffee drinking throughout the day, consider a model with an insulated mug or carafe. These keep coffee hot and fresh-tasting for hours.

For some people, filling the coffee machine and turning it on is too much to handle in the morning. If you are one of them, consider a unit with an automatic ‘on’ switch. For the forgetful who rush out of the house in the morning, an automatically timed ‘off’ feature is also important.

Through all this, remember that the basic mechanism of all automatic-drip coffeemakers remains the same across brands. How they differ is in terms of the design, the compact structure, the glass carafe, the shape of the funnel, the time taken to brew, the water- filtration process, the flavour of the final brew, etc. All these factors together contribute to making one coffee machine different from, or better than, another one. Some also have added features such as timers for automatic start and inbuilt coffee-grinding mechanisms, but these are hard to find as compared to the basic ones.

What you may, or should, be looking for

  1. Design – whether the coffeemaker is sleek and attractive, and how much space does it occupy
  2. Simplicity – the simplest machine is always the best machine, with no complicated features to make it irksome to use
  3. Safety – whether the machine is safe to use and backed by safety features

Comparison at a glance: of coffee makers

For our survey, we shortlisted regular-selling models of drip and espresso coffee makers



Ca- pacity


Power Consu mption, watts

Price, Rs.

War- rantee, years

Drip Type


Appre- cia

600 ml

Easy to clean glass carafe for serving and storing

Water level window to indicate

Compact and ultra-convenient






Zest C



Water level indicator,Anti drip


Heat sensitive, Thermal Fuse




Won- derchef



Does not allow the coffee to flow out once the carafe is removed




Black & Decker


1 cup

Covered reservoir, Removable drip tray, Indicator light,

Ceramic cup, Permanent filter




Insta- Cuppa

800 ml


Complete Pour Over Coffee Dripper




Espresso Type




4 cup

Stainless Steel Filter & Metal Funnel Au to m a ti c P r e s s u r e R e l e a s e Protection with Frothing Function Glass Carafe & Removable Drip Tray







4 cup

Overheat protectionRemovable drip tray for easy cleaning, Glass carafe





ECP 31.21



Can make- espresso, cappucino& dispense hot water

Advanced in-built cappuccino system




Russell Hobbs



Pull out filter holder, Permanent filter






New Europa

4 cups

Removable drip tray for easy cleaning,

Steam control knob




Black & Decker

BXC- M0401IN

4 cup

Steam knob for coffee and frothing High temperature carafe with water level                     indicator Detachable drip tray for easy cleaning




DeLong- hi

EC 685

1 litre

Can make- espresso, cappucino Advanced in-built cappuccino system Professional aluminium filter holder for ground coffee




   Note: Prices may vary; check on or for latest price

A buying checklist

  1. Best in your budget
  2. You should make a rough estimate of your requirements and then choose the appliance that is efficient as well as budget-friendly. You may find that two different appliances with same efficiency cost different.A little research can thereby help you to save money.
  3. Easeand convenience
  4. Be sure that there is no challenging procedure involved in the making of coffee. The appliance needs certain steps to be followed and the rest is done automatically. Some machines are automatic with a timer and these let you know when the coffee is ready by the beep noise – all you need to do is fill the machine with coffee beans, sugar, etc., beforehand.
  5. Quantity
  6. This is an important factor and you should be clear whether you need a:
    1. single-cup coffeemaker (this is capable of providing one single cup at a time and is just perfect for less requirements or requirement at different times by different people), or
    2. multi-cup coffeemaker (this is capable of preparing about three to four cups of coffee at a time)
  7. Easy to clean and maintain
  8. Usually coffeemakers have a coffee jar that can be detached and cleaned regularly. The filter inside the coffeemaker can be removed after some time of usage.

Drip/Filter coffee: Also called drip coffee, it is prepared by using finely ground coffee placed on paper through which steaming hot water is passed and the final brew is obtained in the decoction.

Espresso: The coffee ground is very fine, over which pressurised hot water is passed. The coffee obtained is filled inside the cups placed beneath the outlet. The coffee also has a layer of fine and creamy foam.

How much coffee can you drink a day?

An average 148 ml cup of ground coffee contains 85 mg of caffeine (that’s 57 mg of caffeine per 100 ml). Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That’s roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee.

How can I make coffee taste better at home?

Buy whole beans in small batches. Coffee beans lose flavor over time. Keeping the beans whole and storing them at room temperature in an airtight container. Grinding them just prior to use with a burr grinder will ensure that the coffee is ground evenly, resulting in coffee that is flavorful and balanced.





Television is no longer an idiot box!

smart tv

From watching movies to serials, to getting live news, television is still one of the most sought after entertainment products in all Indian households. TVs today have undergone massive changes in technology, look and design. We have LED screen TVs and smart TVs which you can connect with your laptop as well. With such a wide variety of televisions in the market, Consumer VOICE analyses every product from time to time to help consumers make the smart choice.

Buying guides


If you don’t want to splurge on a smart TV, there are more affordable ways to get internet services on your current television.

People who own a normal television set with none of the features offered by smart TV often wish that they had a smart TV, but in most cases, they can’t afford the added expense.

There are several things that you need to keep in mind while buying your TV. These days one is spoilt with choice whether it is brand, size or technology. However, there are still two important factors that one needs to keep in mind before thinking of buying a TV.

Selecting channels for cable TV based on a consumer’s preference was limited in the last few years. A consumer was bound to buy channels in packs and pay for even the channels that he or she didn’t want.




Smart TV Buying Guide: What is a Smart TV? | Smart TV Features

Smart TV Buying Guide: What is a Smart TV? | Smart TV Features

Smart TV Buying Guide: What is a Smart TV? | Smart TV Features

TV Features

A Smart TV is an internet-connected television that offers a range of online features, such as on-demand content from apps like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4. It has access to streaming video services like Amazon Prime and Netflix, and the ability to connect to other wireless devices like smartphones. These internet-connected Smart features help you get much more out of your television. Many Smart TVs also let you go to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and several support casual games as well. A growing number of Smart TVs have full web browsers that let you go almost anywhere on the internet. Penetration of Smart TVs will achieve relative parity with streaming media players as platforms delivering apps to TVs. Many Smart TVs come with point-and-click remote controls that can manage onscreen interactions using hand motions or by responding to your voice commands.



A Smart TV should have a high-speed processor so that it can run online videos smoothly on the screen while maintaining the resolution. The TV should also be equipped with relevant apps and adequate connectivity options along with HDMI and LAN ports. Ensure that the Smart TV has wi-fi support or an Ethernet port so that it can be connected to the internet. As already mentioned, more than one port would be an advantage. Look for pre-installed browsers and applications. A Smart TV having at least 1GB random-access memory (RAM) and 4GB read-only memory (ROM) will give you seamless performance.


You’ll need an internet connection to get your Smart TV online. Most Smart TVs are now wi-fi-enabled, meaning you can wirelessly connect them to your internet router and other devices like smartphones. Some older models require a brand-specific wi-fi adaptor, which usually slots into one of the USB ports. You can also connect your TV using an Ethernet cable, but if it’s not close to your router then you’ll need a long lead or a power line adapter. Of course a decent broadband speed is essential if you want to stream video, and a super-fast speed is preferable. For example, if you want to stream 4K ultra HD content on Netflix, you’ll need at least 25Mbps to get the best experience. Also, go for an unlimited broadband package so you can avoid any extra changes for exceeding your data limit while streaming.


This is where the pros and cons of keeping a Smart TV connected become a little harder to answer. Once a device goes online, it’s vulnerable – and your TV is no exception. However, you need to consider whether or not nefarious types would even be interested in cracking into your TV. Things have improved over the years. Some brands make a point of highlighting security features in their TVs, for example. As of now, protections like third-party anti-virus software that you can get for your PC isn’t really available for Smart TVs.

So, yes, TVs can be compromised, and they are full of personal information that may be tempting to cyber-criminals. Whether they’ll actually want to bother, however, is another story. At the other end, what we as consumers can do is practice constant vigilance and stay updated.

You can also refer to the TV Buying Guide to know what other features of Smart TV are important to consider before buying one.

Consumer VOICE compared 20 models of 8 brands of 32 inch Smart TV to help you find the one that suits your requirement.


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