Amritsar, August 8
The ban on single-use plastic has hit the local shopkeepers hard as they complain that biodegradable and compostable bags are too costly and in short supply.
The ban has mostly affected grocery shops, vegetable and fruit sellers, who sell loose items which need to be packed.
Biodegradable bags which are allowed for use cost around Rs 5 per bag. A pack of 100 medium-sized bags costs Rs 490. At present, due to shortage, these bags are unaffordable.
Help curb plastic pollution
Four decades ago, people used to carry a cloth bag with them while going out for shopping. People should take the ban in a positive way and help in checking plastic pollution. — Jasvir Kaur, a senior citizen
A poultry seller
A poultry products seller said: “Biodegradable bags which are allowed for use cost around Rs 5 per bag.” He said a pack of 100 medium-sized bags costs Rs 490. He added that at present, due to shortage, these bags are unaffordable.
Shopkeepers rued that despite the ban, people were still adamant on getting a polythene bag. Though old (now banned) polythene bags are available in abundance in the market, the shopkeepers are reluctant to use them.
“The other day, a shopkeeper in our market was issued a challan as a customer was seen carrying items in a polythene bag. When the authorities asked the customer, he reported about the shopkeeper following which a team reached his shop,” said Amit, a chemist in Katra Sher Singh market. He said many customers don’t take the ban serious and start debating over the issue.
The ban has also forced residents to carry a cloth bag with them. “Four decades ago, people used to carry a cloth bag with them while going out as plastic bags were not common those days,” said Jasvir Kaur, a senior citizen adding that people should take the ban in a positive way and help in checking plastic pollution.
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