Pune: Pimple Saudagar in Pimpri-Chinchwad is moving at full speed towards a plastic-free revolution. Starting January 1, 2018, this ward in Pimpri-Chinchwad will be made plastic bag-free.
Citizens, shopkeepers and corporator Nana Kati conducted a rally on Sunday for ‘Plastic Bag Free Pimple Saudagar Movement’. Over 70 adults and children from 30 housing societies walked from Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) playground in Pimple Saudagar to Shivar Chowk, signing a pledge to that effect.
The rally stopped at shops and vendors to encourage all to ban plastic bags from January 1. Their chants of “Band kara, band kara plastic pishvicha vapar band kara (Stop using plastic bags)” and “Vapar kara, vapar kara kapdi pishvi vapar kara (Use cloth bags)” made shoppers take note.
Movement for change
“The effort for this movement to succeed will be two-pronged: citizens should carry their own cloth or jute bags, and all shop owners stop offering plastic carry bags. The movement, launched in the first week of December, was initiated after a session with the NGO eCoexist,” said Pimple Saudagar resident Siddharth Naik. The State government has proposed a plastic bag ban which is likely to be implemented in March 2018.
“It is just about a change in habit. Like you carry a mobile and keys without fail, you can carry a cloth bag!” said Richa Nair, a resident of Siddhivanayak Ginger society in Pimple Saudagar.
Corporator Vitthal (Nana) Kate, also head of the Vyapari Association, said they have been trying to convince people not to use plastic for past two years. “We distributed 20,000 cloth bags in the weekly bazaar here. But people come empty handed every time and demand plastic bags!” exclaimed Kate. He plans to enforce this ban through fines levied by the corporation.
Shopkeepers and owners supported the ban. “The ban will benefit us because we won’t have to spend on plastic bags,” said Pavan Bomble, a flower seller and resident of the area.
Prachi Madhukar, who owns and runs a breakfast stall in the area, said she too supported the ban but alternatives must be made available. Jagdish Borana, owner of shop GMart and resident of Pimple Saudagar, believes that two elements are key in this ban: implementation and the fear of fines.