In the name of addressing customers’ requests, some of the supermarkets and retail shops in the district have resumed the supply of various articles in the banned category of plastic carry bags. The reduced number of surprise inspections by the health department squads and other local vigilance committees is reportedly prompting many small scale traders to go back to the single-use plastic carry bag custom.
Though cloth bags have been a trend, the customers’ reluctance to carry it for their daily purchase is seemingly on the increase. As many are disinclined to purchase fresh bags each time, the shop owners secretly supply plastic carry bags to maintain their customer base.
The wholesale suppliers of plastic carry bags have also resumed their business with the increasing demand. Inter-State suppliers are reportedly getting a good number of purchase orders for local supply. As cheap plastics below 75 microns are used, the carry bags are given free of cost.
Sanitation workers under the city corporation also reveal that the quantity of non-degradable plastic waste has been found increasing with the flouting of the orders by customers and traders in the sector. They also express concern over the management of cost-effective treatment facilities in the district with the increasing waste from various locations.
“Till very recently, a major portion of the plastic waste was the covers of milk and other such food products. However, the increase in the number of single-use plastic carry bags in residential areas is an indication of the increasing supply of banned plastic bags by traders,” said a Haritha Karma Sena worker from Vellayil. She said the way-side dumping of such non-degradable waste was creating a huge menace in some urban residential areas.
Meanwhile, sources with the Health Department squads under the city corporation claimed that searches for such illegally stocked plastic carry bags were under way and the details of the seizure and imposed fine would be released soon. They said one of the recent seizures was from a supermarket at West Hill where the customers used to get free carry bags as part of sales promotion.