A campaign that started off in the streets of Chala and Palayam markets has now advanced to up-market stores with city Corporation officials picketing supermarkets such as Nilgiris at Nanthancode and Big Bazaar at Pazhavangadi on Friday as part of the drive against plastic carry bags.

This is following the demonstration they conducted at two textile giants, Pothy’s and Ramachandran Textiles, on Thursday. Plastic carry bags were taken away from these shops, irrespective of whether they were above or below 40 microns.

Officials received mixed reactions as few stores were irked by the abrupt swarming of civic body personnel. “They should have sent some letter or notified us beforehand. They just landed at the store, disrupted shoppers and took away 45 kilos of carry-bags,” complained Sanil Kumar, manager of the Nanthancode franchise of Nilgiris. He added that it was a good cause and that the store was willing to consider alternatives but this act of ‘goondaism’ was unwarranted.

Health standing committee chairperson, S. Pushpalatha responded that news of the anti-plastic drive had been made clear through the media. “We will be keeping up this momentum by picketing more stores in the coming days,” she said.

Kudumbasree’s role

Details regarding pay, sourcing of material for making cloth or jute bags are yet to finalised, said Ms. Pushpalatha, but a meeting has been scheduled on Saturday at the Kannammoola training unit with Community Development Society (CDS) officials. Three or four centres per CDS area are envisaged. Nearly 25 wards come within one CDS limit, she explained. At the first unit, they plan on employing six women to make paper bags and 10 for cloth.

Unsanitary conditions

Following complaints that the Health Department has received regarding the unhygienic conditions that Kelpalm juice parlours and Thattekadas and push-carts selling Gooseberry and Raw Mango are working in, officials have notified vendors to move.