The campaign against plastic carry bags in the city has put M. Rajesh, who owns a fish shop, in some difficulty. His customers are unhappy with the cloth and paper bags that get soggy as soon as fish is put in them. Invariably, arguments follow.
However, barring such complaints, the city has welcomed the attempt to reduce use of plastic. Most small shops have already shifted to cloth bags and paper packaging, while supermarkets will make the shift in a week.
The manager of a supermarket in Palayam said they had increased the price of plastic bags and were planning to follow the Corporation’s instructions. “We received a letter from the Corporation on the plastic ban. Currently we charge Rs.2/Re.1 for plastic bags. We intend to increase the price further. Discussion is also going on to choose an agency to supply cloth and paper bags,” said the store manager.
L. Indira, who runs a provision store at Pattom, said that after the ban at least a few people had been bringing cloth bags. “Some are ashamed of carrying cloth bags. When they do not bring one, we charge Rs.3 for a cloth bag. Some argue with us,” she added.
However, a few traders complained about the unavailability of sufficient cloth bags and pointed out that Kudumbasree had failed to deliver cloth bags on time.
A seller at the Matsyafed pointed out that the bags that are brought from Chalai Market are good enough to carry weights up to five kilos but products such as meat and fishes cannot be packed in such cloth bags.
“Until the Corporation comes up with a solution for this, we will have to face the complaining customers”, he added.
However, the ban has not affected most of the ration shop owners. They say the custom has always been that of customers bringing bags.
“Here it is based on the needs of the customers. If they do not have a bag, we ask them to come another time”, added N.I.Shaji , an owner of the ration shop at Vazhuthacaud.