The scene was Connemara market at Palayam on Sunday morning. As usual, people had come to shop carrying plastic carry bags.
A team led by Mayor K Chandrika and Deputy Mayor G Happy Kumar standing near the main entrance of the market gently grabbed the plastic bags one by one, took the items in them and put them inside cloth bags. Both Mayor and Deputy Mayor advised shoppers to carry cloth bags for shopping instead of plastic ones.
It was on the second day of the awareness campaign against plastic carry bags that the supply of cloth bags was conducted in the market. The plastic bags with the customers were handed over to the Corporation workers who were part of the team.
Soon, the campaign spread across the market and the vendors doing business at the rear end too rushed to the entrance and eagerly demanded the cloth bags. One among the crowd tried to fool the old women vendors telling them that they had to give their name and address to avail a bag!
Even tourists got a chance to get one. A three-member team from the US who came to the market to buy grocery happily posed with a cloth bag before lensmen.
Not only buyers, the Mayor and team advised the traders too to boycott the plastic bags from January 1 and also the ill-effects of using them. “Now, we are softly advising them not to use plastic carry bags. In the coming days, we would make it more strict,” the Mayor told the media.
In half-an-hour, the team had covered the entire market and customers returned carrying a variety of merchandise; vegetables, fish, meat and clothes in the white cloth bags.
Health standing committee chairperson S Pushpalatha, Ambalathara ward councillor A Mujeeb Rahman, Ulloor councillor Chitra Shaji, Kesavadasapuram councillor George Louis, Kunnukuzhi councillor A Mary Pushpam and Chackai councillor S Santhini were also present. Two hundred cloth bags made by the Kudumbashree units at Karamana were distributed in the market.
The official inauguration of the awareness campaign was performed by Cardinal Baselios Mar Cleemis at Gandhi Park the other day. On Monday, an anti-plastic oath will be administered to the students of Manacaud school and cloth bags will be distributed among them.