Despite ban, plastic bags still in use in Hyderabad

According to vendors, the major reason for the prevalence of single-use plastic is affordability, lack of cheaper alternatives and lack of awareness of the ban.

Published: 17th July 2022 11:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2022 11:51 AM   |  A+A-

plastic ban, banned

Image used for representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Despite the ban on single-use plastic coming into force from July 1, the general public and vendors alike do not appear to be taking the restriction seriously as plastic covers continue to be in usage across the city. Vegetable markets, grocery stores, food stalls, restaurants or roadside eateries — goods are being given in plastic covers that are thinner than 75 microns — the limit set by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

Lack of cheaper alternatives
According to vendors, the major reason for the prevalence of single-use plastic is affordability, lack of cheaper alternatives and lack of awareness of the ban. The alternatives available for plastic covers are jute, cloth or paper bags that cost `25 to `30 while plastic covers thinner than 75 microns cost about `5 per pack.
While production and supply of plastic cutlery have been reduced to a large extent, plastic covers are still easily available.

Officials have been inspecting stores in a few areas and imposing penalties to the tune of `5,000.  
Shekar, a vegetable vendor in Erragadda Model Rythu Bazaar, said, “Most of our customers are carrying their own bags but some of them don’t. Some customers also refuse to buy vegetables if we don’t provide plastic covers.”

Special drives being carried out: Official
GHMC Deputy Commissioner, Uppal, C Aruna Kumari said, “Special drives are being carried out with an enforcement team at various business establishments. Initially, the shopkeepers were instructed to remove all existing plastic bags. We have levied fines up to `1,000 on shopkeepers who have not followed our instructions.”

S Jayanth, GHMC Deputy Commissioner, Malakpet, said: “Some NGOs are supplying cloth and paper bags at cheaper rates, but the manufacturing units of biodegradable bags are yet to increase.” He suggested that the ban be extended to factories manufacturing single-use plastic.



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