AS a result of the recent initiative taken by the government to ban the use of plastic shopping bags, another issue has been created for the consumers.
As if exorbitant inflation was not enough, now shopkeepers expect consumers to either carry the purchased items in their hands or purchase a cloth bag for Rs50 or Rs100 on every trip. Most tote bags are not reusable as they are not made of good quality materials.
While everyone is in favour of using less or no plastic, it would have been prudent if a uniform policy or guideline had been given for an alternative. Here again a trick has been missed by those enforcing this change as everyone is trying to bring in an alternative based on his or her own interpretation.
One of the easiest options would have been to ask shopkeepers and traders to make recycled paper shopping bags and use them — these are used by most of the top brands in the developed world but again the expectation is for the consumers to pay for it. Cloth bags are not right in my view.
We all need to contribute in this regard as environmental protection and economic growth can and should go hand in hand.
Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2019