Vadodara: Architect builds awareness on plastic bag menace

VADODARA: The job of creating awareness on environmental issues is often left to the government or NGOs. But, this city-based female architect has taken it upon herself.

She is on a mission to build awareness on the plastic bag menace in her locality. Without any funding or support, she is trying to ensure that residents and even vegetable vendors stop using polyurethane bags to buy or sell vegetables.

Shilpi Aggarwal decided to inculcate the habit of not using plastic bags in her family a long time ago. She always carries a shopping bag to buy her vegetables and groceries. She then decided on extending the campaign to her neighbourhood in Pratapgunj area.

She is not only providing an alternative in cloth bags, but also an earning opportunity for many. Aggarwal distributed pamphlets in her locality and started procuring cloth bags made by slum-dwellers.

“The bags were given to those who bought vegetables from vendors doing business in Pratapgunj. Those making the bags are given cloth and paid for their work,” she said.

Aggarwal began her effort on November 1 and so far six vegetable vendors have agreed to use only cloth bags.

“Those who ask for a plastic bag are provided with a cloth bag by the vendor who asks them to bring it on their next purchase. It took sometime to convince hawkers, but now even they say they’re saving because of the move,” she said. Against a cost price of Rs 2.50 to Rs 3, the hawkers are provided bags for 50 paise.

Besides Pratapgunj, the hawkers are also trying to convince people in other areas they visit. “Once it becomes a habit, people have no problems carrying the cloth bag with them when the hawker comes calling in their area,” Aggarwal said.

From TOI

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