Residents, vendors in Chennai talk about life, post plastic ban

On 1 January, residents across the city were at a loss when single-use plastic products were banned. Since then, several businesses started using alternatives, such as cloth-bags.

However, there have been reports of late, that some shops have again started using plastic products such as covers, cups, and the like.

In this juncture, News Today reached out to organisations, residents and street hawkers, to find out more.

According to Choolaimedu Exnora president, Kasturi Rangan, “Everybody has to understand their role to make the plastic ban a success. Ever since the rule came into effect, I feel residents are taking steps to use cloth bags. They are also slowly starting to use eco-alternatives to pack their food.”

Rangan also pointed out that Choolaimedu Exnora had requested merchant associations and pavement vendors to switch over to paper or cloth bags for packing goods.

“While it may still take time to completely stop the consumption of the harmful material, it is heartening to see that people are taking efforts to recycle covers, whenever they head to a store,” he said.

It must be reiterated that hawkers and low-scale vendors continue to be the most affected.
A vendor who has set up a juice stall at Arcot Road near Kodambakkam Powerhouse, said, “We can understand that plastic is not good for the environment, but the government should know that not all of us can afford to buy cloth bags.”

This, was once again stressed by Choolaimedu General Merchant Association president, Sakthivel.
“The authorities can perhaps contribute free eco-friendly covers for businesses,” he stated.

Mohammed Rayaan