TN plastic ban evokes mixed reactions

Plastic cups Naresh had bought last year. Now they banned. |M. Naresh

CHENNAI:  A month after the Tamil Nadu Government banned the use of plastic in the State, shop owners are still dealing with teething problems.

“In IT hubs, working people order food for an entire group. And Tamil food predominantly consists of sambar and idli. But such items can’t be carried in paper bags. And aluminium foils are avoided as they are regarded as poisonous by many. Also, it’s not as if people have completely ceased to use plastics. There are many who are using it even now,” says M. Naresh, who runs a shop for decoration and plastics items at Malayaperumal Street, Parrys.

“The users and customers should have been consulted before the implementation of such a scheme.Their opinions must be respected, and their queries resolved. Even though it had been announced in advance, those who run small businesses like selling flowers, and running eateries, can’t afford to plan much in advance,” he says.

Rehman bought this bag from Bangalore. |Sumon Ali

Rehman,44, who runs a shoe shop at M.G. Road, Adyar, says that paper bags are costly.”One polythene bag costs me Re.1. For January I bought paper bags at the rate of Rs.550/kg, which means I had to pay Rs.7 per bag.”

Those who find the move positive regard it as a strategy to protect the environment.

Tilakeshwara,37, who works at a medical shop, says that the plastic ban is a good move as it will increase awareness.”People will be encouraged to carry their own bags instead of taking plastic bags from stores,” he says.

Deepak Motwani, 31, owns a clothes shop in Adyar. He says “I have bought paper bags in three varieties. The small one comes at the price of Rs 7, medium at Rs 11 and large one at Rs 15. So definitely there has been an impact, but the intention is good as the environment must not be polluted by plastics. So I support it.” He says that he got the bags from Royapettah.

Disabled people supported by the Andhra Mahila Sabha made these bags. |Sumon Ali

Venkat Chalam,44, Store Manager at Terra Earthfood Store,Kasturba Nagar,Adyar, has been using cloth bags for the past 5 years. “The small bag can carry 1 kg and costs Rs. 5, while the large one has a capacity of 5 kg and costs Rs.9. It is made from recycled newspapers. Disabled people supported by the Andhra Mahila Sabha make it.”

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