THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:A factor that worked against the ban on plastics imposed by the city corporation in the capital city was the absence of an alternative. However, the corporation is all set to solve the long-pending issue by launching a new project called ‘Thuni Sanji’, wherein cloth bags will be made as a replacement for plastic ones.
Though the corporation has been distributing cloth bags to consumers through various agencies, they have decided to manufacture their own cloth bags from this financial year.Through the project, the corporation aims to serve a dual purpose – implement the plastic ban to protect the environment from plastic pollution and to provide employment to the underprivileged women.
Initially, the corporation plans to start with four production units in the city wherein Kudambashree women will be roped in to do the stitching. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 2.5 crore.It has been a year since a ban has been imposed on plastic and yet its usage, especially polythenes, is still rampant. “We realised that without providing an alternative, people will not ditch the toxic material. Thus, we decided to produce cloth bags for individuals, shopkeepers and vendors. We have roped in 100 women from Kudambasree and is in the process of imparting training in sewing cloth bags. A tender has been invited from various textile corporations to distribute raw materials for the project,” said Mayor V K Prasanth. Mounting woes
The city used to generate tonnes of plastic on a daily basis of which 40 per cent are littered on the streets.
After imposing of the ban, there has been a decline in this.The corporation has appointed a squad which conduct surprise checks on a regular basis and violators are punished.Strict actions are being taken by the squads against the violators - at first the shopkeepers are given a warning, second time a fine ranging from Rs 500 to 5000 is imposed and the third time if the same vendor or shop owner is caught they have to face prosecution.
“Keeping in mind the low cost of plastic bags, the price of the cloth bags will be decided. More than the consumers, it is necessary for the vendors to make a switch from plastic carry bags to eco-friendly bags,” said Corporation health supervisor T Alexander.