The New Town authorities conducted a drive on Thursday in various markets where shopkeepers were penalised for giving out single-use plastic bags.
A team of senior officials from the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA), which provides civic services across all three action areas, went around community markets to check if shopkeepers were still handing out single-use plastic bags.
A senior official said they collected a total of Rs 2,000 as fines from shopkeepers across the markets they visited.
The team started from the BD Block community market and then headed to the CB Block market and one near the Rail Vihar Housing Complex near Nazrul Tirtha.
The official said they had carried out extensive awareness programmes, including putting up posters about the ban on single-use plastic bags and making announcements in markets and residential blocks, in the run-up to the drive.
Debashis Sen, NKDA chairman, said they had issued fines that the shopkeepers have to pay online.
“We found four shops that were still using single-use plastic bags. The penalty for handing out such a bag is Rs 500. We have sent the shopkeepers a link on their mobile phones that will allow them to pay the fines online,” said Sen.
A shopkeeper at BD market who was penalised said he had not realised the plastic packets that he had bought were of the single-use variety.
“I did not know before sourcing the bags that they were single-use plastics. I realised after the officials ran a check,” he said.
There are 10 community markets in New Town. Sen said they would conduct more drives.
The NKDA team also distributed biodegradable bags, including cloth and jute bags, to shoppers.
On June 20, the state environment department issued a notification banning the manufacture, import, stock, distribution, sale and use of several single-use plastic items. It came into effect on July 1.
Among the banned items are “earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol for de-coration)”.