How ready are we to live without plastic items?

Are you ready to face a sudden ban on all single use plastic items

July 11, 2018 05:28 pm | Updated 05:28 pm IST

“See how I had to stuff the fruits in the basket of my scooter? Fruit vendors are no longer giving single-use plastic bags,” complained a friend. On asking for the reason, the vendor said, “Surprise checks are going on and if found with single-use plastic bags, we are being fined.”

A couple of days later, the neighbourhood provisional store handed me a thick carry bag for my purchases. When I asked ‘why this bag’, he said “we are being fined for using single-use plastic bags.”

Fines in Maharashtra range from ₹10000 to ₹5000; in Hyderabad some sellers are let off with just a warning of heavy fines initially. The fines come later.

That the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation passed a resolution to ban all single use plastic items, is old news. On a recent visit to the GHMC office, Minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development K.T. Rama Rao expressed his displeasure at the widespread use of plastic material there. Thereafter, he , issued instructions to the commissioners of all urban civic bodies in the State, to strictly implement the ban on single use plastic, and curb the plastic menace in the offices. As per the statement issued by MA&UD, consuming drinking water in plastic bottles and tetra bottles, single use straws, plastic tea cups, and other forms of plastic, including covers, have been banned with immediate effect.

But is Hyderabad really ready if a sudden ban on single-use plastic is introduced, as in Maharashtra? We seem to have made a start. Meat and fish vendors are insisting that customers bring their own bags or box to take the meat and fish. Though it ia step in the right direction, one hears a few grouses: “I was not prepared. My meat vendor insisted that I go back home and get a box. While his approach is right , it was cumbersome to go back and return with a box,” says Subyendu G.

Is there a way to avoid such a situation? Yes, if you have an alternative. Carrying cloth bags for groceries and a smaller bag that can be easily stuffed into your bag can be one way of tackling the situation.

While Original Unverpackt, the zero-waste store in Berlin is sending good vibes, little is being talked about Hyderabad’s very own 24 Letter Mantra organic stores, which also sells loose grains . However, 24 Letter Mantra stores have the option of packeted items too.

But what about drinking water in restaurants? “Insist on RO water or carry or your own bottle,” suggest one green warrior . As for biodegradable household waste, instead of sending them to landfills its best to begin composting.

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