Plastic bags were banned in Hyderabad some time ago. I thought this will be a good way to control the menace of plastic bags in the city; alas my happiness was short lived. Apparently there is a loophole in the law which allows the retailers to give plastic bags to shoppers at a price. So this means that the bags that were free to us till some time ago and everybody wanted ten bags for shopping 2 items now has to pay for the same. This has led to a very peculiar situation at the payment counters of the retail stores.
A lot of people are still not aware that they have to pay for the bags and will bark orders at the poor counter clerk to give them bags and on discovering that the bags now come with a price tag will start baring their nicotine or pan stained fangs (not to say that clean molars remain entrapped in their mouth washed enclosures).
The retail stores are very happy at the opportunity of making a buck from something that was a pure cost for them. So they are more than happy to give you bags but will charge you any ware between 3-10 rupees depending on the store and the quality of the bag.
I would like to share how I am coping with the situation. Well I had my own way of responding to the extra cost of my shopping. Since I am a shopper who always plans before going to shopping after the initial discovery that I had to pay for the plastic bags, I simply started carrying some of the old plastic bags in my laptop bag and in my car. So once I have kept everything in the shopping cart and simply load everything back in the cart. To everybody’s amusement I carry the stuff in the shopping cart to the car and then load the stuff in the bags waiting in my car’s boot. This whole exercise takes about 5 minutes extra per trip. I also tried some of the jute bags being sold by stores in name of environment and supporting some NGO, but while jute bags look good they are not practical when you are buying groceries, though they come handy when you are buying only a few items.
Now some of you may think I am doing this to save 10 Rs on the bags, but the reasons I have are more pious:
1. With every plastic bag I don’t buy we save some amount of green house gases and help to keep mother earth more green.
2. Second reason is more materialistic, why should I pay for something that actually I already have (inform of old perfectly usable plastic bags).
The Missus for a change is supporting me and every time on the money saved on the plastic bags the kids get to enjoy ice cream, so they are fully supportive in my green initiative and actively help in putting stuff in the bags.
To read more about my retail therapy please read these earlier posts:
1. Gift Coupons
Thanks for reading.