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Goodbye friends…

One small thought…a small step…

It would make a whole lot of difference.

Why wait for the government to declare a ban?

Let us today join our hands and declare a ban on plastic bags all by ourselves.

Let us begin by saying no to those flimsy thin plastic bags which can never be reused.

Next let us reuse the plastic bags we already have as many times as possible.

At times when we do not have a choice and we pick a plastic bag let us try to reuse it.

Why wait for law to be enforced when we can be the law ourselves.

Each of us can make a rule that we will “say no to plastic bags”-

I have been doing this over the last two years. Many a times the supermarket owners have thanked me for carrying my own bags.

I score extra points on my supermarket card because I carry my own bag 🙂

There are so many advantages!

And besides I have this beautiful and colourful collection of cloth and jute bags which can be folded away easily.

At the end of the day I feel proud…

I feel good that I have taken a small step to save the environment.

I hope you all do that too…

So goodbye to all as I will not be writing on this blog anymore…

Will continue saying “No to Plastic bags”

Even if the bags are oxo-biodegradable…

 

 

 

One last try…

On 4th March 2012 I will post my last entry on this blog.  I will no longer be writing about my war against plastic bags. Yes… I had set the end date for this blog two years ago…(Read my first post).

I had started writing this blog two years ago in order to share my experiences in my personal campaign ‘Say no to plastic’

As I look back I can see some changes…but the plastic bag still remains!

A select few do say ‘No to plastic’ but the major population is all set to use the ubiquitous…irreplaceable plastic bag.

School children are learning that plastic bags cause great harm to the environment.

In India most major supermarkets have started charging for carry bags and that is a major step…

When a person pays money for a bag he/she is bound to reuse it till it lasts…

But the smaller supermarkets/grocers/vegetable vendors etc. still continue giving plastic bags to their customers…FREE!

People staying in bungalows have fruit/vegetable vendors carrying wares on a cart going past their houses. In such cases, it is clearly sensible to say no to the plastic bag. But sadly that is not the case. I have seen many customers happily accepting the thin flimsy cover to transfer their purchase into the refrigerator and then just throw away the plastic bag into the dustbin.

A short life for the plastic bag in the customers house…but a long weary life in the environment where it takes years and years and still does not disintegrate causing great harm to the soil.

Many a times animals end up eating that plastic and eventually die when the plastic gets entangled in their gut.

A sad end to an animal for the careless attitude of a human. One word “NO” and it would save the life of many aquatic and other land animals…

Is plastic truly irreplaceable? Didn’t we all many years ago make do without those plastic bags?

What has made this plastic bag so important for us humans? We are supposedly the most intelligent living species???

Why then are we so ruthless at times? Is the plastic bag more important than saving the environment from further harm? Is it more important than the life of those dying camels and turtles?

Are we not intelligent enough to understand the hazards of plastic to the environment? Is it that big an effort to say “No”

We have so many options…cloth…jute…

We can wash and reuse cloth bags.

For the last few years we are hearing “Save the environment” and we nod with joy and agree wholeheartedly with all those people speaking about saving the environment from further harm.

But let us sit back and think…what have we done to contribute?

There is still a long way to go and at times I wonder if it would be too late by the time humans realize their folly…

My next post will be my last post on this blog…

But surely my war against plastic bags will not end…I will continue saying ‘NO’ to plastic and request as many people I know to do the same…

 

 

The other day my daughter bought a cute cotton bag from school. She had gone for the CMCA (Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness) introduction program.

The bag had a logo on it “I CARE FOR MY CITY- I SAY NO TO PLASTIC BAGS!”

…..a civic friendly initiative from CMCA.

I was very happy to learn that schools were taking keen interest in promoting reusable bags. And the CMCA is promoting reusable bags in order to replace plastic bags

Looks like the plastic bags usage will reduce to a large extent.

Children are taught by teachers to avoid using plastic bags and children in turn educate their parents and neighbours.

Well, the younger generation has taken a big leap in replacing the ubiquitous plastic cover with cotton bags.

Last week I had been for the Parents teacher meeting where I saw secondary grade students convincing parents to buy reusable bags which they were selling. Again a CMCA drive…

I was extremely happy and in order to boost the sales I purchased eight bags. Very colourful in shades of green, blue, purple and yellow… The bags can be folded and kept in a handbag or a purse. Very trendy and low priced too! (just Rs. 15/- per bag)

The students were very enthusiastic about explaining to the parents ‘why not to use plastic bags’ and ‘how reusable bags can be eco-friendly and convenient’

So the task of saving the environment now lies on the tiny shoulders of the school going children. They understand, adopt and preach ‘Say no to plastic’ and ‘Use cotton/reusable bags instead of plastic bags.’

Keep it up dear children! Three cheers to CMCA for their ‘Say no to plastic’ drive…

Implement rules…

The other day I was shopping at Hyper city at Meenakshi mall, Bengaluru.  When I reached the cash counter I heard the cashier tell another customer that they were charging Rs 2 ,3 & 5 for carry bags. The lady was not very happy and told him to pack everything in just two bags.

Well, that was good. I observed many customers complaining but eventually paying up for the bags.

But the point was that when rules are implemented, people follow the rules.

So that is all that needs to be done. Implement strict rules. Though I am happy that the major supermarkets have started charging for carry bags, the small grocery shops still give away covers freely.

Even the roadside vendors and the ones who sell wares on push carts carry with them thin plastic covers in which they give away the goods.

These covers cannot be reused, are free for the customers and cause harm to the environment…

Customers must stop taking these covers. But somehow that seems like a far cry.

Some rule on manufacture of these flimsy plastic covers must be implemented immediately…

 

I had been to Mumbai last week and was happy to see that all the major stores like ‘Shoppers Stop’, D Mart, Big Bazaar have started charging for the carry bags.

It is an excellent step. Though people spend thousands of rupees on shopping they dislike dishing out Rs. 3 or Rs. 5 for a plastic carry bag.

But this dislike will prove very good for the environment as people will soon make the habit of carrying their own bags when shopping.

And another aspect to this ‘charge for carry bags’ is that people will not throw away the bags. They will go home and fold it neatly and stack it away for future use. So that is that many bags reused!

Great going and cheers to all the major stores for taking this step!

Hopefully all the stores will soon follow suit and very soon customers will be either carrying their own bags or paying for each carry bag they take from the store…

Lack of awareness…


Percentage of educated people in India is low. So awareness about global warming, harmful effects of plastic bags etc is lacking. The educated know about it but are not sure what exactly needs to be done. Even in schools not much is spoken about the harm that plastic covers cause to the environment.

 

So I guess it is a longer walk for me now as compared to Dubai where awareness campaigns had taken off well and most people knew that the plastic cover ban was inevitable.

 

In Bengaluru, schools need to start awareness campaigns like ‘Say no to plastic bags’ and soon the younger generation is bound to influence the adults. Somehow I feel people have accepted the environmental issues and are not actually very keen to go ahead and solve it or do something about it. I cannot say this for all the people as surely there might be a small group of people trying their best to think of solutions to create awareness and avert problems to the environment.

 

The best way to spread awareness in this city is through the radio stations. I have observed that most people listen to the FM channel. I will trying writing to the local newspapers about the issue and hopefully they will join in to help save the environment.

 

Have to think out more ways to spread awareness…

 

Any suggestions???

Plastic everywhere!

I have relocated to Bengaluru, India from Dubai and it has been a while since I wrote something on my blog.

Though I was busy setting up my new home here in Bengaluru, I was observing the use of plastic everywhere around me.

After my long stay in Dubai, when I stepped into this beautiful garden city, I was shocked to see plastic covers lying around everywhere. Garbage collection is an issue and people tend to throw garbage bags in open sites, under a tree or just about any empty place they see.

In fact, just near my house there is a place near a tree where people throw garbage. After a while dogs, crows, cows and flies are seen around the place. The animals tear the plastic bags and eat whatever they can from the garbage. How much of the plastic goes into their stomachs, is something I don’t know.

The Bengaluru Municipality is completely against providing dustbins as they feel it spoils the look of the city and also attracts flies and mosquitoes. Which is actually correct. But what about the fact that because of the lack of dustbins people throw rubbish on the streets and make the city even more dirty.

Every shop I go to gives away thin flimsy plastic bags. Supermarkets are giving good sturdy plastic bags which can be reused. But the grocery shops and vegetable vendors give the purchases in thin plastic covers.

I carry my reusable bags but most of the people do not. And well, I guess I need to continue my war against plastic bags even here.

How I am going to do it, is something I have not decided on. But the war is on and that is one thing I am sure about.

Let us see…

I will keep posting all my experiences related to the ubiquitous plastic bags…

Plastic bags everywhere...