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Traders ‘research’,give sample bag to govt for approval

Traders across the city are betting their hopes on a non-woven synthetic bag to bail them out of the ‘bag crisis’ following the plastic bag ban in the Capital.

Written by Neha Sinha | New Delhi |
February 24, 2009 11:41:24 pm

Traders across the city are betting their hopes on a non-woven synthetic bag to bail them out of the ‘bag crisis’ following the plastic bag ban in the Capital. They have given a sample non-woven bag,made of the material shoe-bags are usually made from,to the Delhi government,which will decide if it qualifies as ‘plastic’ or otherwise.

Terming paper bags as ‘weak’ and cloth bags as ‘too expensive’,the traders have zeroed in on the synthetic bag,which they say is the cheapest option.

“We have given the sample and the Delhi Government has sent it to the Sri Ram Laboratory for testing. Soon we will know if the bag can legally be used,” Praveen Khandelwal,secretary general,Confederation of Indian Traders (CAIT),said.

“CAIT’s research and the trade development board shortlisted this material,which is the cheapest alternative. A cloth bag is too expensive,costing at least Rs 10 per bag,while the regular brown paper bag is too fragile.

“While a good quality paper bag will cost above Rs 5 per bag,the non-woven synthetic bag costs only Rs 3 per bag,” he said.

All plastic bags are banned in major shopping areas since January 7.

The alternate bag should also be more widely available,the traders argue. “Our market research has shown that there is a demand for 20 lakh plastic bags in Delhi every day,but alternate bags cumulatively add up to only 1.5 lakhs bags,” Khandelwal said. The traders recently met chief minister Sheila Dikshit,asking for a grace period before alternate bags are put in market to which the government has ‘unofficially agreed’.

Meanwhile,markets across the city are still using plastic bags,with some keeping both paper and plastic bags. In Lajpat Nagar,most shops are using plastic bags. “We understand there is a grace period,so we are keeping both plastic and paper bags,” an employee of an incense store in Lajpat Nagar said.

In smaller commercial areas,degradable plastic bags are allowed for which the Central Pollution Control Board recently set the standard — they must decay into compost and be of 40 microns thickness.

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