Did you know single-use plastic is banned from July 1?

A shopkeeper attempts to create awareness about the ban on singe-use plastic in Bengaluru.

A shopkeeper attempts to create awareness about the ban on singe-use plastic in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: S. Trisha

Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) may have declared that single-use plastic items will not be used from July 1, but, in many parts of Bengaluru, citizens as well as retail vendors, especially hawkers, are not aware of the ban. While pharmacists and big departmental store-owners are lauding the environment-friendly decision, small-scale retailers are counting the loss they have to incur due to the ban. 

Venkatesh, who runs a medical store, said, “I’m very happy with this decision. It’ll help the environment restore itself, and animals can live freely and happy. This is a good decision since plastic is not reusable.” 

However, among hawkers, the search for an alternative is a cause of worry, as paper or cloth bags cost more than plastic carry bags.

“I only got to know about the ban after being alerted by a customer,” said Raja, a pushcart fruit vendor at Chamarajpet. “We have been using plastic bags for a long time. It is difficult for us to come up with an alternative. This decision might be a good one, but it has an adverse impact on vendors like us.”  

Shyamalamma, a flower hawker in Gandhi Bazar at Basavanagudi, complained that the alternative is very expensive. She was unsure what to do with the packets of carry bags she has already purchased. ‘Each paper bag costs around ₹20 per piece while plastic carry bags are available at ₹2 per piece,” she explained. 

Tender coconut sellers, who offer plastic straws to customers, are not confident about paper straws. “Not only are they costly, they also get soggy easily,” said Mahadeva, a coconut seller in Basavanagudi. Although he is not left with a choice because of the ban, he will continue to offer plastic straws till he runs out of stock.

Many other shopkeepers in the locality plan to offer plastic bags and use wrapping film until they exhaust available stock to avoid loss of the money they had invested on these items.  

BBMP marshals or KSPCB officials were not spotted at most commercial places until July 1 afternoon trying to implement the ban. But in K.R. Market, traders reported that BBMP marshals seized plastic carry bags from vegetable and flower traders.

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2022 3:43:25 pm |