Plastic ban: many buyers yet to toe the line

It takes time for people to get accustomed to the fact that single-use plastic cannot be used, say traders

The number of customers carrying cloth bags while on shopping has not picked up as expected despite the ban on single-use plastic, according to traders.

“If we take 10 persons, only two or three bring cloth bags as an alternative to plastic carry bags. The rest either buy cloth bags kept for sale or ask us to wrap the products using newspaper,” said a shop owner at Edappally.

Traders said that it might take some more time for people to get accustomed to the fact that single-use plastic could not be used. “They still ask for plastic carry bags. We have now pasted stickers saying that single-use plastic carry bags are prohibited. The price range of cloth bags and reusable carry bags are displayed,” said a manager of a retail chain at Edappally.

However, enforcement agencies pointed out that there was an increasing awareness among traders not to sell or use single-use plastic. “We had not acted stringently against violators as the Government had initially given a relaxation upto January 15. But many shop owners are now seen informing customers that they have to either buy cloth bags or carry it with them in view of the ban on single-use plastic bags,” they said.

Owners of vegetable and meat stalls continue to provide single-use plastic covers to users fearing that they may lose business. “The customer, who still asks us for plastic covers, may not come to us again once we say no to single-use plastic. So the authorities should either come up with reasonably-priced eco-friendly alternatives instead of plastic bags,” said a vegetable vendor at Aluva.

The ban, imposed under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, disallows manufacture, storage, marketing and use of single-use plastic products. No trader is authorised to sell them in markets.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 1:52:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/plastic-ban-many-buyers-yet-to-toe-the-line/article30687866.ece

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