Double impact: cloth bags, tailoring get a push

Tiruchi-based groups are engaged in intiatives like bag swaps and workshops to impart DIY skills

The ban on plastic packaging, particularly carry bags, needs governmental and popular support to be truly effective, say social welfare advocacy groups.

“People have got habituated to using plastic in nearly every aspect of life, whether it is for packing food or groceries, or even to carry temple offerings. We have to change this mindset and show the public the advantages of using alternative products that are eco-friendly and reusable,” K.C. Neelamegam, Secretary, Thanneer, a non-governmental organisation active in environment conservation, told The Hindu.

Thanneer has been running anti-plastic awareness programmes for the past five years in Tiruchi. Among its recent initiatives was a ‘bag swap’ outside temples, where Thanneer volunteers exchanged the plastic packets carried by worshippers with cotton bags.

“Natural fibres like cotton are ideal for bags, because they are biodegradable. Plus, if we really revive the cloth bag tradition in the State, their production would provide jobs to many people in the tailoring and printing sectors,” said Mr. Neelamegam.

Procured at a cost of ?7-12 per bag from a wholesaler in Karur, Thanneer’s bags can carry up to 2-3 kg of groceries.

Affordable alternative

“Compared to cotton, plastic bags cost just 20 paise apiece. If the authorities can make cloth bags more affordable, the ban on plastic packaging will be easier to implement,” he said....Read more


Source web page: The hindu

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