The ban on single-use plastics that came into effect on 1 January was welcomed unanimously by the residents. However, according to many in Velacheri, the government on its part failed to bring in a proper enforcement due to which some shops in the neighbourhood continue to use polythene carry bags.
News Today spoke to a few shopkeepers as to why they continued to do so, and most of them said that an alternative to plastic bags was not affordable.
Anandhi, a resident of Velacheri said, “The rule is being followed 60-70 per cent here. Sadly, shops selling dosa/idli batter, fish and meat have not stopped using plastic bags. But what’s impressive is that some residents are making paper bags at home for their own use and some are even selling cloth bags ranging from Rs 20 to 50 in the locality. Such initiatives by the locals are encouraging others to carry their own bags while going shopping.”
Residents informed the violating shops are mostly in AGS Colony, Balaji Nagar and on the Velacheri MRTS Road. Anandhi pointed out that the rule has to be made even more strict and regular inspections must be made by the authorities to ensure use of plastic bags are done with completely.
C Marimuthu from Spic Nagar said, “There is a drastic reduction of single-use plastics in my neighbourhood, especially in my own house. Shopkeepers have stopped using them and customers are carrying their own bags. From restaurants to roadside vegetable vendors, I see them following the rule diligently. I think the ban is successful as far as my locality is concerned.”