Govt yet to okay ban on plastic bags

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The State Government is yet to approve a proposal put forward by the Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation Limited (KHDCL) in April to ban the use of plastic bags in all agencies coming under the Department of Commerce and Industries. Use of cloth bags produced by the KHDCL has been suggested as an alternative.

The proposal was submitted after K Amarnarayan, Secretary, Department of Commerce and Industries, discussed with KHDCL the ways to curb the use of plastic bags, two months ago. Agreeing with the idea, the KHDCL even manufactured cloth bags to be used in place of plastic ones. The new bags are printed with messages, in Kannada, on environment conservation.

The KHDCL has also sought support from the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), and the Muzrai Department for effective implementation of the ban.

As of now, a tender has been floated for the manufacture of 10 lakh cloth bags which would be given free to those making purchases at KHDCL-owned Priyadarshini showrooms in the City.

The KHDCL Managing Director and Chief Conservator of Forests, Manjunath C Tambakad, says the goal is to discourage the use of plastic bags in Bangalore.

“More than 1.5 crore such bags are used in the City. We want to somewhat reduce that number. We hope the government responds by June 5, the World Environment Day,” Tambakad told Deccan Herald, adding that the Muzrai Department has already lent support by directing all temples under its control to use the KHDCL-manufactured cloth bags from now on. KSPCB, on its part, was willing to sponsor the KHDCL products, Tambakad said. The BBMP will be requested to ban the use of plastic bags at malls and shops in the City.

Besides, the KHDCL has requested the government to offer 75 per cent discount on all cloth bags manufactured by it. Coarse-grained fabric will be used so that aged weavers can easily knit it, creating jobs for them. In addition, tailoring units where women from Stree Shakti groups work would also be involved, the KHDCL said.

The cloth bags will be reasonably priced, according to B Gajendra, a KHDCL official.

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