Chandigarh, June 10: The Municipal Corporation Chandigarh has launched an eco-awareness campaign in the city’s wholesale fruit and vegetable market in Sector-26, the hub of single-use plastic bag usage, to promote the handmade cloth bags made from discarded clothes.
The campaigners advised consumers to consciously opt for cloth bags while shopping, and keep them handy with them as well for future buying.
Self-help group Rani Laxmi Bai has started a unit under social mobilisation and institutional development component of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana — National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) for manufacturing and mass production of cloth bags with an aim to replace polythene single-use bags.
The self-help group is working under UN Sustainable Development Goals here by involving 25-30 women under the aegis of Area Level Federation.
The women involved in the group are housewives of those engaged in informal sector.
With the knowledge of basic stitching and tailoring, they have come forward to initiate a start-up of manufacturing bags from used and discarded clothes at Ram Darbar in Chandigarh.
DAY-NULM has given hand-on experience to the self-help groups of women through skill training partners in designing low-cost bag manufacturing.
Mayor Sarbjit Kaur on Thursday launched a mobile cloth bag selling unit at the wholesale fruit and vegetable market.
This initiative has been started under the environment week that is being celebrated by the corporation from June 5-11.
The Mayor said it is high time to move away from disposable plastic bags and adopt cloth bags in order to protect the environment.
She added that the bag selling units are expected to be launched in other areas also, including markets, Apni Mandis and booth markets soon.
“This initiative is aimed at encouraging the people to return to the use of the eco-friendly bag and discard the plastic bags,” Kaur said.
Corporation Commissioner Anindita Mitra said the civic body has roped in self-help group to hand out cloth bags to the residents at market places at low cost.
Flying squads of enforcement wing and sanitary wing of the corporation have been deployed in the city to crack the whip on the violators of the banned plastic bags.
She added that the flying squads have been directed to conduct raids at places after appealing to the people to provide inputs about shops using illegal plastic bags.
She said that the corporation has taken a decision to promote the use of cloth bags for shopping, and to stop the usage of plastic bags in order to make the city 100 per cent plastic- free.
Earlier, volunteers of NGOs roped in the campaign carried out rallies and ‘nukkar natakas’ throughout the vegetable market to create awareness among shopkeepers and customers promoting the usage of cloth bags for carrying items of their daily need.