Citizens found wanting in zeal to end ecological scourge

Citizens found wanting in zeal to end ecological scourge

Citizens found wanting in zeal to end ecological scourge
The ban on plastic in the State is only on paper, it seems. Plastic is still being widely used in markets, shopping malls, prime commercial centres and petty shops across the City. People are not reluctant to buy plastic covers while shopping. Many petty shops are seen handing over items - perishable and non-perishable - in plastic covers of thickness below 40 microns.

“There are hardly any shops in my area that rent out cloth bags. In such cases, we are forced to buy groceries in plastic covers. Also, cloth bags are expensive and the poor will not be able to buy them. It will be beneficial if the BBMP takes steps to put up a list of the shops in each ward where containers made of cloth/paper or other alternatives are readily available and also distributes them to citizens,” said Sujatha A, a resident of Nagavara.

On the other hand, Vaishaka L, a shopper, said that she did not mind paying Rs five for a cloth bag as it is in the interest of the environment and health of humans.

Hopcoms too has not yet implemented the ban fully and many outlets still use plastic bags. Fruits and vegetables are given in polybags to customers and the Horticulture department is planning to replace them with cloth bags in a phased manner.

The silver lining
The KR Market Traders Association has chalked out plans to implement the ban from April 2. The association is asking traders not to give plastic covers to customers. Association president G M Diwakar said that they will hold a meeting in a day or two with traders on how to implement the ban successfully.

Around one lakh people visit the market every day and most of them still use plastic covers, said a trader. The association members said that the support of the BBMP and government was crucial for a successful ban. They will soon write to Palike Commissioner G Kumar Naik in this regard.

Gradually switching
However, those organising weddings, birthdays or other parties are gradually switching to alternatives.

For instance, Lakshmipathy G, who is preparing for his sister’s wedding in Basavanagudi this week, changed the menu after the plastic ban. Instead of going for multi-cuisine meals, he has opted to serve traditional food to the guests on plantain leaves, instead of plastic plates and sweets and ice creams in areca nut bowls. He said that though the groom’s family initially opposed the idea, they later understood the issue.

Caterers are also switching from plastic cups to paper cups and even steel containers.

“The immediate alternative to plastic is paper. A paper-based tumbler costs 10 paise to Rs one more than a plastic tumbler, depending on the size. Customers have to bear the cost. We have also switched to paper sheets, instead of plastic sheets laid on dining tables,” said Ram Lakshman, owner of K M Ram Lakshman Catering Contractors.

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