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Bagging up plastic ban

Self help groups and homemakers are making a beeline to centres offering training classes in cloth and paper bag making

Published: 08th February 2017 09:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th February 2017 05:34 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:With the corporation announcing a ban on plastic carry bags from March 1, making cloth and paper bags will become a lucrative business. The lure of the big business opportunity has the self help groups and homemakers finding time to get trained in bag making. The demand is going to be huge since the civic body is imposing a blanket ban on all types of plastic carry bags. From big retail businesses to roadside eateries everyone will be looking for eco-friendly bags.

Corporation has earmarked a big sum to find  alternative solutions to plastic carry bags. An institute run by Centre for Swadeshi Rural Development at Kesavadasapuram is one such agency which provides training in bag making. Though it conducts regular classes, the activities gained momentum after the civic body banned plastic bags. “Most of the applicants are Kudumbasree members. We have trained over 2,000 people in cloth and paper bag making since January 1,” said A R Shafeek, institute’s director.
The centre provides 3 days training each in paper and cloth bag making. One gets trained to make eight types of paper and six types of cloth bags. Besides this training is also provided in screen printing. “We give back end support to bag makers to buy cloths and papers in bulk quantity. The demand for training in screen printing increased after big shops wanted bags emblazoned with their brand names,” Shafeek said. The fee is around Rs 300 for a three-day workshop.

A bag of A4 size can be sold at Rs 2 per piece. Only if the prices of these bags are reduced to that of the plastic carry bags will they gain acceptance among merchants and buyers. Corporation officials acknowledge this fact and are planning to make 30 lakh bag this year. It will spend Rs 5.5 crore to make plastic ban a success. Mayor V K Prasanth said he will consult with the state government on the possibilities of subsidising the manufacturing cost of paper and cloth bags.
However, it would be a mammoth task to produce enough bags by March. Training classes in bag making will be conducted in other taluks of the district too.



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