Plastic use dips in Bangalore city

BANGALORE: Everyone in the city is used to carrying their own bags when they go grocery shopping or paying extra for plastic bags, since the notification by the Ministry of Environment and For

Published: 14th February 2012 12:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 05:56 PM   |  A+A-

1-PLAT

BANGALORE: Everyone in the city is used to carrying their own bags when they go grocery shopping or paying extra for plastic bags, since the notification by the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ came into force in February, last year. But, has the move really worked? City Express undertook a reality check , to see if the sale of plastic bags has come down since the move.

We spoke to a couple of retail shops in the city.  “The sale of plastic bags has reduced considerably. Customers have started carrying their own bags now.” said a salesman at Smart Shop on Magadi Road.

Voicing the same opinion, the manager at MK Retail said, “The sale of plastic bags has easily come down by 50 per cent. If customers forget to carry their own bags, they sometimes end up carrying the groceries in hand.”

“The influx of new bags into the market has seen a downward trend. There has been no systematic study statistically, to see an actual fall in the sale of plastic bags. But, I can tell from my observation that the move to charge for plastic has certainly been a deterrent to the public,” observed former Chairman of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), Sadashivaiah adding that there is still a need to intensify the campaign by involving people and resident associations, in particular.

 According to former chairman of Karnataka State Plastic Association, Chandra Mohan, small shops are not implementing the notification for fear of losing their customers. “They are giving away plastic bags less than 40 microns free of cost . Hence, the customers prefer to go to that particular shop. This defeats the entire purpose,” he rued.

When we asked Chandra Mohan if there has been a fall in the sale of plastic bags, he said, “Yes, the sale  has come down from 5,00,000 to 50-60,000 in a particular month. That is a big change. And retail shops are saving money this way, as the money they have spent on plastic bags is now being paid back by the customers,” he added.

Chandra Mohan  also suggested customers to buy plastic bags exceeding 40 microns, as they can be used to carry up to 20-25 kilograms and can also be reused atleast five to six times.

Not only in India, but similar moves worked well in other countries, as well.

According to  Sadashivaiah, “A statewide levy on plastic bags in California, USA, last year saw a downward trend in usage by the customers.”  

According to a report by The Guardian dated May 2009, “Since launching a 5 pence charge for food bags last May as part of its Plan A scheme to reduce waste, Marks & Spencers says the number of bags taken to cart posh ready meals home has fallen by 80 per cent from 460 million bags a year to 80 milion.”

Though the campaign against using plastic bags has a long way to go, many feel that there is a need for higher public participation in such issues, stronger implementation by authorities concerned and increase in awareness towards environmental issues among the public.

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp