Campaign against use of poor quality plastic launched

THE HINDU [14 JUNE, 2002]
By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, June 13. Less is more here. More concern for the environment and mobilising more people for a cause -- less use of plastic. Though there is a ban on the use of plastic of less than 20-micron thickness, the call for using less plastic to avoid harm to the environment in the City seems to have gone unheeded. There is rampant use of plastic in commercial outlets, especially smaller shops, which cannot afford the recyclable kind.

To target customers, to sensitise them to use less plastic, Saahas, a non-government organisation working in the area of environment protection, has launched a three-month campaign with the slogan ``Less Plastic for Me'' in the City, in association with the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB).

``Most persons in Bangalore are already aware of the harmful effects of plastic on the environment. The campaign aims at bringing such people together so that more persons can be influenced to use less plastic products,'' Wilma Rodrigues of Saahas says.

The campaign will be initiated at major departmental stores and supermarkets in the City such as Nilgiris, Food World, Foodday and Janata Bazar, and will encourage consumers to refuse disposable plastic products such as carry bags and cups, she told The Hindu.

Volunteers from the NGO will interact with customers urging them to carry their own shopping bags and refuse the plastic carry bags given with the purchases. Alternative cloth bags and paper bags will be made available at these stores. ``Initially these bags will be sold at a discount of Rs.5 to motivate people to use these bags. After sometime these will be made available at cost price,'' Ms. Wilma said.

The Pollution Control Board has made it mandatory for all shops and establishments to use good quality plastic and has directed them to charge the customer for these carry bags. ``This will motivate them to carry their own shopping bags,'' Ms. Wilma said.

The campaign has been started in Bangalore South and will be taken to other parts of the City in the next three months. ``By encouraging people to use their own shopping bag, not only will the environment be safe, the stores will also benefit,'' Ms. Wilma said.