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Cotton bags replace plastic bags at Jadavpur market

Posters banning the use of polythene bags put up in the area adjacent to the 8B bus terminus

Kinsuk Basu | Published 07.05.22, 06:37 AM
Cotton bags being sold at Jadavpur Super Market on Friday.

Cotton bags being sold at Jadavpur Super Market on Friday.

Bishwarup Dutta

A market in Jadavpur in south Kolkata has replaced plastic bags with ones made of cotton, the first in a series of initiatives planned by Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to enforce its plastic ban in markets across the city.

In Kolkata, as in elsewhere in the country, plastic bags less than 50 micron in thickness are banned.


Members of the committee that runs Jadavpur Super Market, adjacent to the 8B bus terminus, have instructed the owners of around 300 shops to stop offering plastic bags to customers.

The shops that used to sell black and white plastic carry bags in bulk have been asked to replace their stocks with cotton ones. Posters banning the use of plastic bags have been put up across the market.

The new cotton bags come in various sizes and colours, including red, yellow, green and black. At least two shops in the market were selling such bags in bulk.

A visit to the market — which was earlier maintained by the Kolkata Improvement Trust and is now under the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority — on Friday morning revealed that the bulk of the sellers and buyers switched to cotton bags.

While many buyers this newspaper spoke to welcomed the change, a few said the cotton bags were too flimsy and could rip apart if used to carry heavy items.

A shopper said the stitch of a cotton bag handed to him by a shopkeeper came apart under the weight of 2kg of potatoes.

A section of traders in the market said they were spending more on cotton bags compared with plastic ones.

“A kilo of plastic bags costs Rs 150. The new cotton bags cost Rs 200 a kilo. Besides, a packet of cotton bags contains fewer bags than a packet of plastic bags,” said Rana Mistri, who runs a vegetable stall.

“It is difficult to ask customers, most of whom I have known for years, for extra money for cotton bags. They will not agree to pay.”

“The use of plastic bags creates several problems, particularly with the drainage system. We all are aware of this. I have no problem with this switch,” said Ajit Moulik, a senior citizen.

Members of the market committee said they were trying to explain to shoppers and shopkeepers that rampant use of plastic bags was a key reason for waterlogging in and around Jadavpur during the monsoon.

Engineers from the KMC’s drainage department said plastic remained the single biggest threat to the city’s drainage system.

Last updated on 07.05.22, 06:37 AM

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