Activists give a push to plastic ban; promote alternatives

Activists give a push to plastic ban; promote alternatives

Activists give a push to plastic ban; promote alternatives

The demand for paper bags and other alternatives to plastic covers has shot up in the city.

Citizen activists and organisations working in the filed of environment have taken up the no-plastic bag challenge and are making efforts to strictly enforce the ban.

Women from Kannamangala, Bevinamara Colony and Belthur grama panchayats near Whitefield have dedicated a few hours every day to making bags from old newspapers. They have sold around 9,000 bags to supermarkets, retail stores and restaurants in and around Whitefield. The initiative was started by Priyadarshini Raguraam on April 9. 

Priyadarshini, who is part of FORCE-GW (Federation of Residents, Communities and Enterprises in Greater Whitefield), said she gets at least 1,000 enquires from stores, traders and residents for paper bags everyday.

Manufacturers of jute, cotton and paper bags also say the demand for their products has gone up after the plastic ban.

Sunil K from Paper World said he has received about 80-90 enquiries from traders so far and the response has been encouraging. Yogesh BH, who manufactures cotton and jute bags said recently, four wholesale traders bought cotton bags in bulk and a supermarket made enquiries about jute bags. 

The staff of City Supermarket store at Varthur said they have switched over to cotton bags to dispense goods to customers.

Similarly, a popular ice cream outlet in Jayanagar is using paper bags to give away packaged orders instead of plastic covers. Suresh from Natural Ice Cream parlour said they have been using paper bags for over a month now.

However, traders say they are facing a few challenges. Shivaprasad Shetty, a fruit trader from Shivajinagar, said he cannot afford cotton or jute bags. “They are expensive. Paper bags are suitable only for light items.”

G M Diwakar of the SKR Market Traders’ Association said the plastic-ban drive launched at the market some time ago has not taken off due to lack of support from the civic authority. “Fines are not being imposed by the civic agency and hence, traders are still using covers,” he added.

Drive to continue

To sensitise the Palike staff to the plastic ban, a  workshop would be held among engineers and also staff from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), said BBMP Joint Commissioner for Solid Waste Management (SWM) Sarfaraz Khan. He added that regular plastic seizing drives are being held across the wards and the movement will continue.