An initiative to address the plastic menace

When you buy an aerated drink in a glass bottle, you pay a deposit which is refunded on return of the bottle. How about doing the same for plastic carry bags? After the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's (BBMP) move to ban plastic with thickness less than 40 microns, another initiative has been taken up to address the plastic menace in the city.

Project Green Voice

However, “Project Green Voice” of Compact Green Enterprises and VOICE for India does not discourage the usage of plastic; instead, it asks people to rent reusable plastic carry bags.

Launched as a 45-day pilot project in the Domlur ward here on Sunday, around 2.5 lakh polypropylene “green” bags will be distributed to approximately 600 shops in the ward. While the bag costs Rs. 5, customers will be refunded Rs. 4 on return of the bag. These bags can be returned either to the stores, or to scrap dealers who will be kept in the loop. On return, depending on the state of the bag, it will either be sent for recycling, or will be reused.

Do not dump

Speaking during the launch of the project, Suresh Tota, Managing Director of Compact Green Enterprises, said, “Using plastic is not a crime, dumping is. Just as old newspapers and milk packets have value attached as they can be recycled, plastic bags should be given similar value. We want to saturate the use of plastic bags and not let plastic reach landfills.”

The programme will be taken up in other wards soon. Containers for food and smaller bags for vegetable and fruit vendors are also on the cards.

For the latter, the Geetha Srinivasa Reddy Foundation (belonging to Domlur councillor Geetha Srinivasa Reddy), donated Rs. 1 lakh for free distribution to smaller vendors.

Mr. Tota added that customisation will be done at an increased cost as per the vendors' requirement.

Coloured bags

Different coloured bags will be introduced for different usages (say for non-vegetarian items), and the bags will come in three sizes.

A.S. Sadashivaiah, Chairman of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), said the initiative was a good interim measure.

He announced that the KSPCB will be installing segregation bins at bus stands.