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Ban on plastic: Prices of alternatives to polythene shoot up

New replacements are non-woven bags, net bags, bags made out of newspapers

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | December 22, 2015 3:11:51 am
plastic, plastic ban, ban on plastic, NGT, chandigarh news In Chandigarh on Monday. (Sahil Walia)

AFTER THE UT Administration began implementing the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order banning plastic bags in the city, traders seeking alternatives to polythene have settled on three replacements — non-woven bags, net bags, and bags made out of newspapers. Some have started asking customers to get their bags.

Grocery sellers, fruit and vegetable vendors across the city claim the rates of these items have shot up ever since the ban on polythene. Dealers sold 120 kgs of non-woven bags and 90 kgs of newspaper bags to fruit and vegetable vendors outside the grain market on Monday, they said, at new increased prices.

“Non-woven bags were sold to us today from Rs 2.80 to Rs 3.20 each. Earlier they cost just Rs 1.80 per bag. These rates have gone up ever since the sellers got to know that polythene has been banned,” said Guru Prasad, a fruit vendor outside Sector 26 grain market.
He added, “We have started giving newspaper bags to customers buying less quantity of fruits while for those who buy 2.5 kg
and above, we need to use the non-woven bags as paper bags get torn.” On Monday, newspaper bags cost the vendors Rs 80 paise when they were being sold for Rs 50 paise earlier.

In shops selling frozen items, traders are using non-woven bags as paper bags get soaked through. “We bought the non-woven bags only yesterday at a hiked price. But we are adjusting the cost somehow by making a nominal increase in the items being purchased by customers,” said Rajiv Chawla, a shopkeeper based in Sector 15.

Vijay Singla, a trader based in Sector 27, said, “We have been asking our customers to get their own bags. Until they get aware, we are using the non-woven bags. If customers start carrying their own bags, there wouldn’t be a burden on any of us.”

Brown paper bags cost Rs 5 to Rs 10 and are being used in bigger shops in sectors 17, 22 and 35 only. Some shops are also using stiffer varieties of paper bags, charging customers Rs 7 extra for a bag.

“We ask the customers if they want to take a carry bag. It is optional for the customer,” said Ishan Gandhi, a trader based in Sector 22.

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