Ambala, July 2
With the ban on single-use plastic items coming into effect, environment-friendly products, including paper, wooden and biodegradable cutlery, have started finding more space on counters of wholesalers and retailers involved in the business.
Though, traders and buyers have welcomed the government’s move to impose a ban on single-use plastic, the high price of wooden and biodegradable products seems to be a matter of concern for them.
Dinesh, who runs a shop of disposable items, said, “Since all were aware about ban, we stopped placing new orders for the single-use plastic cutlery and started finding alternatives. Though the available alternatives are a little costlier than products that we were selling and have been using till now, the ban is important for saving the environment and the coming generation. However, the government should allow wholesalers and retailers to clear their remaining stocks to avoid any financial losses.”
Deepanshu Jain and Naman Jain, wholesalers, said, “We have got an alternative, but it is hard to convince customers to use these items due to high price. While a pack of 100 plastic straws used to cost Rs 15 to Rs 20, the same quantity of paper straws costs Rs 45. A bio-degradable plate costs Rs 7 to Rs 8.50 in wholesale. The same is situation with spoons, plates and other items.”
“Several of our customers are involved in hotel and fast-food business. They are reluctant to buy alternatives as it will increase their expenses. It will take some time and cheaper products will also be available in the coming days,” they added.
Meanwhile, the locals and environmentalists have also welcomed the government’s move to completely ban single-use plastic items. They said, “The ban will help in reducing garbage and keep the city clean.”
Naresh Bhardwaj, executive member, Green Earth, an NGO, said “The ban on single-use plastic is the need of the hour. We all have to understand that plastic has become a part of our life and body system. Plastic is killing our environment. We have to make collective efforts to eradicate the menace of single-use plastic.”
Gulab Singh, an MC official said, “Wholesalers and retailers have been directed to dispose of single-use plastic stocks, but many of them are still selling old items. Violation of ban invites a fine ranging between Rs 500 to Rs 25,000, depending on the weight of the seized stock.”
Ban is important
Though the available alternatives are a little costlier, the ban is important for saving environment. — Shopkeeper
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