How to ban the usage of plastic strategically with practical alternatives

How to ban the usage of plastic strategically with practical alternatives

Please share your valuable ideas!

Yanpvuo Yanfo Kikon

Yesterday at the Citizens Advisory Forum for Kohima where the main stakeholders and guardians of the city came together – Angami Peoples Organisation (APO), Angami Youth Organisation (AYO), Kohima Chamber of Commerce, Angami Mothers Association, Kohima Municipal and Smart City team with all other major public and citizen organisations with Urban Development Minister Metsubo Jamir and local MLA Dr. Neikisalie Nicky Kire

…where the citizens inquired and debated in the open forum with KMC and Smartcity team on the various projects being undertaken including progress, timeline, challenges etc When the issue of banning plastic was debated, a very good point was raised by Dr. Neiphi Kire who stated
“We may ban plastic but unless we have an alternative practical solution which can replace plastic, the exercise may become impractical.”

This is a pertinent question which we need to ask ourselves and share some practical & viable alternatives to replace plastic but it should be biodegradable.

(Biodegradable meaning – capable of being decomposed by bacteria or other living organisms and thereby avoiding pollution.)

1.We can tell people to carry our own jute, cotton, silk or whatever bags while going shopping but lets be realistic not everybody will carry a shopping bag every single time.

Solution – Shop keepers will have to keep biodegradable bags which may be free (If small) or can be added to the shopping cost (Rs.5, Rs.10 etc depending on the type/material of the bag)

But now many will argue – Why should we buy shopping bag! It should come for free!

But here we must consider this as a reverse psychology strategy –

During our usual morning cha khai time la debate te, mom said, “MOST OF THE HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING IS ALWAYS DONE BY MOTHERS or the womenfolk with few exceptions where it is done by men.

Like the saying NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION – When the need for something becomes essential, you are forced to find ways of getting or achieving it.

So since now, one has to start paying for carry bags if you do not take your own, the shoppers who go buy groceries and stuff especially the mothers will start thinking “Oh I have to pay Rs.2 or Rs.5 just to buy a carry bag. Let me carry my own.”

Now this habit of taking our own bag before going for household shopping to avoid paying for carry bags will slowly become a habit and a norm, thus minimizing the use of carry bags! This can also help us reduce producing too much waste and lead a minimalist life.

2. Our local entrepreneurs can also start thinking out of the box.
Example: Nagaland eri silk is considered one of the best in the world. These days silk bags are also becoming a alternative replacement for plastic. Although the manufacturing process requires a lot of skill, expertise and cost thus increasing the final product cost which cannot be sold cheaply, we must also remember that anything manufactured in bulk, the cost ultimately reduces.

There are so many other materials which can be explored by our local innovators and inventors to come up with your creative ideas and products. Once you create these, we can also have a state-wide competition where the winner can be guided to start your micro industry for producing the same and start supplying to markets. You will definitely make a profit if you can make a PRACTICALLY FEASIBLE AND ECONOMICALLY VIABLE PRODUCT, because the whole world is now creating laws to ban plastic and move towards biodegradable alternatives.

Please share your valuable ideas!

Athsole Mero Olson

If plastic bag is banned totally then people will start carrying bags. It is just a matter of adjustment in the beginning. Here in Austin, Texas and most parts of the US people have gotten into the habit of carrying bags. Those that do not have their own bags get carton boxes where produce/products have arrived in. People pack it in carton boxes that shops give. I did exactly that in Big Bazar in Dimapur. I told them that I refuse to pay for bags and told them to get the empty carton boxes from the back and load it in those boxes. They did just that in 3 cartons. Problem solved and I am not paying these stores for plastic bags that is bad for the environment and helping the stores make an extra buck on the side and the carton boxes are being reused.

Chenio N Odyuo

Reusable bags and thin film bags of a non durable plastic would be perfectly viable. The problem with non durable plastics for bags is that they are even more prone to breaking under load than the ones currently in use.

Returning to paper bags would work but you would have the problems returning that helped drive the shift to thin film bags in the first place.

One case of thin film bags will package about as many groceries as two pallet loads of paper bags.

Paper bags are a cockroach tailgating parties. Any pallet of paper bags will bring in hidden vermin.

Rodents find paper bags prime nesting grounds.

There were public health and sanitation reasons to go to the thin film plastic bags.

And instead of burning and throwing plastic why not do something..? I mean why there is not a platform be it opportunity to those person who are good in making shopping bag, and basket..

Akhrie Mor

Revived the age old practices of using community cups n plates,for occasion like weddings, religious gathering etc. For festivals n similar community feast we can once again bring our own plates, cups n drinking water, like we do some decades back.! Plaintain n banana leaves are good alternative n safe too, it usage were there much before the arrivals of throw away styrofoam plates, cups etc, which has become so indispensable today!!Behavioral changes is the little effort we need, to do away with plastic, especially single use plastic carry bags, plates, cups, etc. For that matter, every mother can carry her own bazar bag, neatly rolled inside her usual bag. Carry our own water bottle. A little deeds can create a ripple effects. Be the change for a bigger change!

Khrienuo Metha

We grew up carrying our own baskets to market All shops then had brown paper bags to put articles into.Nothing has changed only habits have changed for the worse. Changing habits back is no rocket science.Just banned plastic bags.

For the very concious ones start encouraging bamboo/cane marketing baskets!Do not treat public like children where everything will have to be laid out on the table.

People will find their own means of carrying!

Thozüsie Zyien Nyuwi

The psychological strategy can work greatly I suppose. I stay in Pune and the city is on the process of eradicating plastic, so basically no plastics bags are available and even if we find one it is paper bags or other biodegradable bags which cost us money. So everytime we have go with our bags and with time we have cultivated the habit and have started to feel that it is my own responsibility to take the bags with us and yes the joy of saying no to the bags which cost us is real. This should be implemented. Until we implement, things will never work out or we can never expect to see change.

Looking forward for a better and beautiful capital.

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