Studies had pointed out that coloured carry bags were more dangerous and carrying food items in them was not advisable.

Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) may involve self-help groups (SHGs) in the city to promote production and use of biodegradable bags to bring down the use of polythene carry bags.

Joint Commissioner K. Srikanth Rao told The Hindu that there were 348 SHGs in the city some of which could be asked to produce biodegradable bags using cloth, paper and other material so that they were sold to retail traders in and around the city.

Successful in Madikeri

He said that a similar exercise had succeeded in Madikeri where he was Commissioner earlier, and the ban on carry bags had been implemented effectively.

Mr. Rao said grocers in Madikeri would purchase biodegradable bags at a cost of Rs. 6.50. They charged Rs. 10 per bag but would refund the money if the customers returned it.

He said that he would discuss this with Commissioner Harish Kumar K. and attempt to implement the project after obtaining approval from the MCC Council. An attempt would be made to place the subject on the agenda at the regular meeting of the council in July. Mr. Rao said SHGs would be identified and asked to produce carry bags post-Council approval. Once the bags were ready, shops would be asked to sell only biodegradable bags.

“If this could be done in Madikeri, why not in Mangalore?” he said.

He said that the ban was successfully implemented in Madikeri except in fish markets where black carry bags were used.

Studies had pointed out that coloured carry bags were more dangerous and carrying food items in them was not advisable, he said.

Environment Engineer of MCC Madhu S. Manohar said that bylaws were being prepared to give more structured framework to the fight against use of plastic products. Use of plastic carry bags was banned under the Plastic Waste Management and Handling Rules 2011.

Raids

He said its use had continued despite several raids conducted by MCC officials. A committee headed by the Commissioner had held two meetings to consider proposals to implement the ban. One of the proposals was to fix rates for various sizes of carry bags. It was also working on the bylaws.

Keywords: MCCSHGbiodegradable bags

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