Administration firm to phase out plastic
MANGALORE: Come November 1, the use of plastic bags to carry goods of any nature will be a strict no-no in Mangalore taluk of Dakshina Kannada district.
With the district administration determined to root out plastic menace, authorities here have decided to extend the ban implemented in Moodbidri to remaining areas and later roll it out to remaining four taluks in the district. Use of plastic bags for retail vending of goods is covered under the ban.At present, there is already a ban on use of plastic carrybags less than 40 microns and the Mangalore City Corporation is conducting raids on vendors and manufacturers who sell and manufacture such bags.
The civic body has also slapped fines on errant traders. The administration has not shied away from involving students in driving home the message on excessive use of plastics and this move has found a supporter in district in-charge minister CT Ravi.
Deputy commissioner NS Channappa Gowda told STOI that any plastic bag used to carry goods and one which could end up in the waste bins will be targeted under the ban. The retailers, who are saddled with stocks, will be given time up to 15 days from November 1 to clear the same and will have to switch over to alternatives thereafter.Most major food outlet retailers are already charging customers nominally for plastic carry bags and have prominently displayed signage urging customers to bring their own carry bags. While most shoppers now as a matter of rule started avoiding plastic bags, it is the impulsive shoppers who feel the pinch. “I don’t mind paying the fee for a plastic carry bag at times when I go to shop urgently and not otherwise,” said Sudhindra P, a banker.
The DC said various NGOs have come forward with alternatives to plastic bags. “An NGO came to me with polyester clothe bag that can be used to carry meat and meat products, especially fish,” the DC said, adding majority of plastic bags come into use for carrying food products. Manufacturing units in the city and self help groups who come forward to manufacture alternatives to such bags will be given subsidy, the DC said.”Around 40% of our customers come with their own carrybags. We are also planning to start selling jute bags each priced at Rs 25 and refund the cost to customers at their next visit by taking back these bags. But given that the consumption level of plastic carrybag is high in our store, we could have done with enough notice period before the administration banned these bags,” said an assistant store manager at a hypermarket in the city.