Government rakes in Rs 2,400 crore annually from the sale of empty bottles alone. Private firms clean and sell them to distilleries.
According to State government sources, Tasmac sells 50 lakh cases of hard liquor and about 25 lakh cases of beer per month. When customers buy alcohol at a Tasmac bar and leave the empty bottle there, it works to the advantage of the government and some private companies. The government of Tamil Nadu invites tenders to sell the bottles at each district. Hard liquor comes in three different quantities — quarter (180 ml), half (375 ml) and full (750 ml). “Through the tenders, the State government sells bottles at different prices ranging from 50 paise to Rs 1.50,” the source said adding that the company which got the tender should collect empty bottles from Tasmac bars on a daily basis.
As per the data available with DT Next, the government sells 50 lakh cases of hard liquor and 25 lakh beer cases a month. Each case of alcohol supplied from distilleries will contain 48 quarters, 20 halves or 20 fulls.
The Tasmac sells 30 lakh quarter bottle cases, 15 lakh half bottle cases and 5 lakh of full bottle cases in addition to 2 crore beer bottles every month. Sources said that about 90 per cent of tipplers consume liquor at bars. Of the total sales of 50 lakh cases of hard liquor in the State, 90 per cent is sold at Tasmac outlets, 7 per cent at other private bars and only 3 per cent is consumed at homes.
According to the latest statistics, the government earns at least Rs 200 crore every month from the sales of empty bottles of hard liquor. Besides, empty beer bottles contribute Rs 1.8 crore.
How private firms make money
P Karthik, an employee of a private firm in Guindy, explained that after collecting the bottles, their lids have to be manually removed and then clean them using chemicals and water. Then the bottles are sold to distilleries.
Distilleries cut cost
“If we purchase a new beer bottle from the open market, it would cost about Rs 20 for the company. But a recycled bottle is available for just Rs 5,” he said.