BHUBANESWAR: The drive against the use of plastic and polythene carry-bags has gathered steam. With the state government planning to prohibit the use of plastic across five cities on October 2, many organizations in the city – both government and private – have been switching to eco-friendly materials to make bags.
Several voluntary organizations here have even launched campaigns to promote and popularize the use of cotton cloth bags.
Among the green activists is Rudra Prasad Rath, who has started an online campaign called #whereisyourcottonbag a couple of months ago.
“We have caused enough damage to the environment by dumping plastic everywhere. It is time we undid some of the damage by saying no to plastic,” he said. “Though the government’s decision to ban plastic has been welcomed by us, many people are confused about what alternatives are available to them,” he added.
As a part of his campaign, Rath has been asking people to post pictures with cotton or jute bags on social media platforms. He has also been speaking in assembly sessions at schools and colleges, and visiting housing colonies and apartments to urge the people to use cotton and cloth bags. “One school in the city has already declared its campus polythene-free. Around 1,000 people have posted pictures with cotton bags and many of them have started using these as well. Several shops and vendors have also stopped giving out plastic bags,” said Rath.
Another group of volunteers has launched a campaign against plastic in different daily markets of the city. Under the banner of ‘Save the Earth Foundation’, the volunteers ask vendors and customers not to use plastic bags. “We approached vendors and customers in Jharpada daily market. Initially, the people did not give us much importance but they started listening to us after a couple of weeks. At present, around 70-80% people in the daily market have stopped using plastic,” said Ranjan Acharya, a trustee of the foundation.