16 September 2011

Plastic Bags

Bangalore has banned plastic bags. A very commendable initiative to drive away plastics from the face of the earth, indeed. If you go to a shop or a supermarket in Bangalore, you are not offered plastic bags to carry your stuff anymore. Well, that may not be strictly correct. You are offered plastic bag(s) if you pay Rs 2/- for each of the bags.
Here lies the rub. How many of us carry a bag to a shop to bring back things that we buy? A few perhaps. But most of us do not. Eventually we end up paying multiples of Rs 2/- for our plastic bags. So what actually has happened is that what we were getting as complementary take-aways are now being charged.
It would instructive to know the dip in plastic bags' demand -if any at all - in all of Bangalore since the time the ban has come into force. I suspect there would have been a negligible dip in the demand-clearly, not even worth its weight in plastic. Effectively this means that an enterprising business person has passed the price of the plastic bags to the consumer.
Once I asked at one of the supermarkets why are the supermarkets are making a mockery of the environmental protection campaign. Why did they not wrap our stuff up in paper bags as was done in this country in the seventies, eighties and earlier? The answer was simple: paper bags cannot hold today's weighty stuff.
I agree. Only plastic cards can hold today's weighty stuff.

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