Retailers charge for carry bags

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By AKANKSHYA CHALIHA
  • Published 10.08.11
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Aug. 9: Next time you go to pick up your groceries or garments or anything else remember to carry bags or be ready to pay for it.

The shops in the city are no longer going to provide carry bags for free.

The move comes in view of the ministry of environment and forests’ go-green initiative, which disallows giving away free plastic bags to customers.

The Plastic Waste (management and handling) Rules, 2011, cover various aspects relating to use, collection, segregation, transportation and disposal of consumer plastic waste.

Big Bazaar is the first in the city to commence this drive to gradually eradicate plastic carry bags from July 1.

An official of Big Bazaar, Guwahati, said, “Customers who are aware have already begun bringing their own carry bags. I think this would motivate people to realise the drawbacks of using plastic carry bags.”

The official said the prices of the plastic bags, depending upon its size, would be Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 3 or Rs 4.

Rule 10 of the Plastic Waste Rules states, “No carry bags shall be made available free of cost by retailers to consumers. The municipal authority concerned may by notification determine the minimum price for carry bags depending upon their quality and size which covers their material and waste management costs in order to encourage their re-use so as to minimise plastic waste generation.”

The idea is to discourage the use of plastic carry bags, because of their adverse impact on environment.

So, all large retailers have agreed to charge for plastic bags at their respective stores.

Pantaloons and Westside are two other large retailers in the city who have decided to begin charging for plastic bags from yesterday.

An official of the Westside branch of the city said, “In view of this charge being levied, the intention is to reduce the use of plastic carry bags. Hence, the customers need to be encouraged to carry their own carry bags.”

Both the retail chains will charge Rs 3 for small plastic carry bags, Rs 5 for medium ones and Rs 7 for large bags.

The customers will carry their own empty carry bags around the store, after leaving all other belongings at the security desk. A few of the retailers have even decided on putting up posters across the stores to inform customers regarding the charges.

A shopper at Big Bazaar today said he had started bringing his own bags. “It is a good move because it might reduce our dependence on plastic bags and thus reduce the material’s impact on environment,” he said.

Some other brands like Fab India, Mother Earth and Cottonworld have also been disbursing bags made of recycled paper and cloth to do there bit for the environment.