PUNE: In view of the State government’s ban on plastic bags, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is trying to manufacture paper bags using recycled paper with the help of self help groups (SHGs).
Speaking to Sakal Times, Mayor Mukta Tilak said, “The PMC is working on a scheme to provide assistance to SHGs to make paper bags so as to give an alternative to plastic bags. The PMC is preparing a proposal to provide land and manufacturing machinery to SHGs for making paper bags. SHGs will have to produce and mark paper bags. The corporation will not take any responsibility for selling the bags.”
Suresh Jagtap, Head of PMC’s Solid Waste Management Department, said, “We are trying to provide an alternative to plastic carry bags in view of the plastic ban decision. However, it has not been finalised yet.”
Earlier, the PMC had planned a scheme for SHGs to give Rs 35,000 for making paper bags as the seed capital. However, one of the organisations took objection on giving financial assistance to SHGs. It claimed that there is no need to finance the paper bag business as anyone can start the business with a minimal amount and it is not the corporation’s responsibility to give money to SHGs.
The PMC’s Social Development Department organises different courses to provide self employment to people from economically weaker sections (EWS). However, making paper bags is not in the list of courses.
Meanwhile, the PMC has made arrangements to collect plastic materials in their 15 ward offices and 160 arogya kothis (storage rooms of sanitary-related equipment), so that the civic body can destroy plastic material in a scientific manner.