CHENNAI: It’s been nearly 22 months since the State banned singleuse plastic. But has it stayed off the shelves of shops? A walk through shopping hubs in the city proves the menace is still very much there. Even tea stall, small eateries, vegetable and fruit stalls use banned plastic.
As Deepavali shopping has picked up, plastic bags can be seen in shopping hubs of T Nagar, Broadway, Purasawalkam and Sowcarpet. When TNIE visited T Nagar and Broadway, most shops, including showrooms are selling articles in plastic bags. Ironically, customers were also seen demanding plastic bags. In Ranganathan street, used plastic cups were strewn all over.
According to Chennai Corporation’s records, from April 1 to November 2, only Rs 31,600 has been collected, which is just about one-third of the usual amount. Shopkeepers say it was Covid fear that made them return to plastic. “Most people are hesitant to drink in glass cups.
Given a choice between reviving our business during the pandemic and abiding by the ban, we had to choose the former,” said a tea vendor in Velachery. However, shopkeepers said they couldn’t find these plastic bags in the city.
So they were sourcing them from Pune, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Puducherry and Mumbai. When contacted, a Corporation official said, “We have been busy due to Covid and from next week, we will once again reinforce the ban.”