Wednesday, August 20, 2008

CSR-Plastic issue take it serious

Dear friends
We all know the side effects of plastics. But how many of us have stopped to use? Charity begins at home. We all members should decide today and on this 15th of Aug, we will not use plastic bag, even for vegetable purchase. this is most common site.
I like to ask group that please let me/us know how many organization in this group working on plastic ban issue? Please write to me or group. I wants to make one platform for all such NGO's and will like to work in whole country or nation.
Hope Mr. Vinay will give me permission for same. Waiting for your positive reply.
Slogan in "Plastic ko Palayan Karo (eliminate)"
Suggestions are welcome.
Dr Niraj Pandit,Community Physician,Anand, GuajaratIndia

Dear Niraj ji -Recently, I was forwarded your announcement to join together to ban plastic bags in India. It is a wonderful goal, and I'd be happy to join. We have been working on this and other zero waste efforts in Udaipur, Rajasthan, and with other friends elsewhere. I am part of the movement for rethinking education and development, Shikshantar -- . Some of what we have been able to do is documented on our website, under Udaipur as a Learning City.Do keep me posted on the ideas that emerge... Best wishes,Shilpa

Dear Dr Pandit,

Yes, we all know the impact of plastic on the environment. I am sure everyone will endorse your view. However to bring about the desired change concerted efforts are required. Certainly the charity begins at home. On my part ( and my family) I am strict no no to plastic bags. We simply do not use them and do not accept them at market - particularly vegetable market. In Delhi the mother dairy booths - also vegetable and fruit vendor - they do not use plastic bags. Hence we have to carry our own cotton or jute bags when we go to buy vegetables. However they are everywhere else. Delhi High court recently banned the use of (thin) plastic bags.Yet there is a long way to go. I feel simple way forward is that each one of us inspire and motivate a few persons we know by sharing our commitments and also explaining why we are eschewing plastic. Just a few people around you and see the magic - that's how great movements start. Otherwise our appeal will fall on deaf ears.

Incidently, it would be apt to say " Plastic Ks urmulan karo " rather than " Palayan Karo" if you mean eradication.

All the best


Dear Sir,
In Himacha plastic below 75 micron is BANNED and the Ban is effective as well, so other states must follow it.
Dr. Omesh bharti

Dear Niraj,
Jeff Conant <> may be a good contact.
Have you seen and looked at their Environmental Health book?

Long back, when i can to know the ill effect of plastic, i have personally reduced the useage.
However i fully support the idea of stopping the use of plastic bags.

Zoher Doctor

Dear Niraj

In Mumbai there are many organisations. I stayed in Thane 4 years ago and we had a programme of getting vegetable/shopping bags (Theli) stiched out collected synthetic sarees. We gave them to ladies in slums and paid Rs 1-2 for stitching. Then we stood at the entrance of the market and distributed them free to shoppers. Another organisations made specially such cotton thelis printing "Say No to Plastic' slogan. May such programmes make a statement and create awareness. However I feel there has to be blanket ban on plastic bags like in military areas etc.


Surekha Sule

I do fully agree with Niraj and Zoher. As a policy we at our home and evenin our Foundation (Lifeline) try best not to use plastics carry bags.Purchases from vegetable and grocery market and even from pharmacist shopsare not taken in plastic.However, I have a question which has long been bothering me about thedrive to reduce plastic bags. What is the substitute for plastic bags whenyou do an unplanned purchase (where you have not taken a cloth bag)? Youuse paper bags. What about the trees felled to make paper bags?Subroto Das98253 00100

Gentlemen and ladies,
The way innocent trees are cut on warfooting in our city, and also on the outskirts to make passage for the express ways and highways that we all rejoice, without any replacement policy, our writing here can only lead to satisfaction of a few. What we need is a passionate drive to knock the Corporation and get a satisfactory answer to why so many trees are massacred daily which are not so dangerous as is the reason give by the tree cutters.
Yes tree felling is the problem. But, we have to find out the best option. We can go for more plantations and social forestry kind of things provided we have some fertile land with us. Plastics make the land infertile.WR_dhananjay bhatt.

Dear Subroto

I remember my childhood when we went out with a cotton bag always to keep it ready for odd purchses. Products were generally wrapped in newspapers for which 'raddi' business thrived. Even today, raddi is a business but it goes to make pulp for industry and not so much for making paper bags. We bought milk, curd, oil etc taking our own vessels. Even for fish and meat we used to have separate cotton bags that were washes after every marketing. Farsan was wrapped in leaves and then in newspaper.

After the advent of plastic packaging products , now people got so used to this convinience that they do not recall our earlier ways of bringing purchased products home in eco-friendly ways. Therefore I am for blanket ban on plastic bags which are difficult to collect and recycle. Why we don't see big, thick plastic bags on road side but < 20 micron ones? Because even rag pickers find it difficult to collect for which they get pittance - like 40 paise per kg and one kg of < 20 micron will need thousands of such bags. And then get 40 paise? So there is no economic value to this throw away < 20 micron product. But these only cause the biggest malaise clogging the drainages.



Dear Surekha,One should visit Ooti. They are using only paper bag because of the ban. It was quite efficiently implemented when I visited some 5 yrs back.WR_dhananjay bhatt

The paper bags used are the ones made out of recycled paper and hence not harmful to the environment. Even the used paperbags can be further recycled.RegardsAshutosh Chaturvedi

In fact, it is mandatory to plant at least one tree for every tree felling. Hence some companies announce this on the wrapper of the product.
On our part, we can take up plantation drive as far as possible.

Surekha Sule


According to environmental laws of this country, no tree can be cut without permission of Tree Authority. However, most cities this authority is dysfunctional. Shall we as group act as pressure group to have a meaningful authority?

Even a tree in your own compound can not be cut or even its big branches can not be cut without the permission of tree authority. In May, I was visiting my cousin in Manjalpur. A foreign returned couple was getting trees cut in not their own compound but in neighbour's that is my cousin's society compound. There was big fight as society objected to cutting trees in their compound. And why was this foreign returned gentlepersons cutting neighbour's trees? Because leaves were falling in this gentleperson's compound! Can you believe, leaves cause nuisance. They could simply collect or get them collected and make compost for their garden.

I then called the local corporator who asked me call municipal garden superitendant who asked us to send application in writing and then they would send notice to these gentlepersons.

Now as usual, I left after few hours asking the society's people to write such application. But then the issue was forgotten and nothing happened.



Dear Sir, Many many years ago, there were introduced also in Indian markets, cheap reusable very light weight, PVC nettings bags, in many sizes and quality, which could be easily folded and kept in pockets, or in Car, scooters, and have very high weight carrying capacity also. These were also available at quite cheap. Now also may be available in some stores. These are very popular even now in USA, European and middle east countries. We can again popularise them in markets to replace, PVC sheet as well as paper made non resusable bags to solve both problems.Once PVC film bags are forbidden and Paper bags are made costly these reusable PVC netting bags could be a solution for both problems.Regards,Om Prakash

I would like to widen the ambit of the debate. Whether you like it or notplastics in some form or other is inextricably linked to our daily lives.Almost everything that we use contains plastic, air-conditioners, cars,aircraft, ships, spaceships, toys, school bags, computers, furniture, softdrinks, refrigerators, the list is endless. It is used in industries rangingfrom automotive<>,building & construction<>,electrical & electronics<>,packaging & consumerproducts<>.A ban on low gauge plastic carrier bags is necessary but to expect a ban onall plastics is not feasible. What needs to be addressed however is theproper disposal of plastic waste in a manner that does not pollute theenvironmentBecause most plastics are non-degradable, they take a long time to breakdown, possibly up to hundreds of years - although no one knows for certainas plastics haven't existed for long enough - when they are land filled.With more and more plastics products, particularly plastics packaging, beingdisposed of soon after their purchase, the landfill space required byplastics waste is a growing concern. Plastic waste, such as plastic bags,often becomes litter. It is estimated that nearly 70% of litter found onbeaches is plastic.An alternative is to introduce introduced degradable carrier bags. Thesebags are made from plastic which degrades under certain conditions or aftera predetermined length of time. There are two types of degradable plastic:bio-degradable plastics and photodegradable plastics, which will break downwhen exposed to sunlight.Degradable plastics are already being used successfully in Austria, Sweden,Singapore etc. In some countries, I understand McDonalds has been usingbio-degradable cutlery for three years. This enables all catering waste tobe composted without segregation. Carriers for packs of beer cans are nowbeing manufactured in a plastic which photo-degrades in six weeks. There isalso potential to use such plastics in non-packaging applications such ascomputer or car components.But there are a number of concerns over the use of degradable plastics.First, these plastics will only degrade if disposed of in appropriateconditions. For example, a photodegradable plastic product will not degradeif it is buried in a landfill site where there is no light. Second, they maycause an increase in emissions of the greenhouse gas methane, as methane isreleased when materials biodegrade. On the flip side the use of thesematerials may lead to an increase in plastics waste and litter if peoplebelieve that discarded plastics will simply disappear.These innovations apart, the need of the hour is to sensitize citizensagainst littering and to dispose waste in accordance with the segregationparameters laid down under the BMC bye laws 2006. I expect that the BMC isaware of our environmental concerns and is armed with the appropriate toolsand measures that are needed for plastic waste disposal
Posted by: "Alex Aiyar

Dear friend,Regarding Plastic bag opposition,Yes,what you say is right about execess use of these plastic bag which creates lot of new cleaness related problem in society but today plastic is indispensable from modern life & we have no other suitable cheap material replacement option,yet. here,i will give just two Example. #1) Plastic Milk Bags #2) Plastic clip used by docter for tieing umbilical cord.I request define these thin bag as "Carry bag or shopping bag" without using "Plastic" word in protest process. With regards,Mahendra Islaniya

Hi everyone,Not being used to writing to such forums, probably penning this is difficult. But eliminating plastics is such an important issue, that it has compelled me to write something.I too agree with the gentleman who stresses on the use of a simple cloth bag. If you notice a middle class / lower middle class individual, it is usually a cloth bag sewen out of a old garment. What an excellent use of resources! We need to learn from our forefathers Just because all of us are lazy to carry a bag, we discuss on which size thickness of plastic bag we want to use. Look at the packing of ordinary magazines. As if we had less plastic to handle, magazines are wrapped in transperant plastic covers, to preserve them? Ridiculoous!Mobiles come in such packing, plastics and board packing , that we are loaded with huge amount of trash. For the sake of the environment can't we boycott articles which destroy wood/ paper, and get wrapped in plastic.Shirts come packed with so much plastic and board, it is sickening to open the layers of box and plastic. For what, ? Just to improve it marketing appeal.When you see cattle trying to open a bundle of plastic bag, which she will inevitably consume, one can understand the implications of our plastic usage.Gutters getting blocked due to non degradable plastic, floods in our areas, water logging, all is caused by innumerable plastic bags. The hill stations which were mentioned appear like heavens, as they are plastic free. And all this because we are not inclined to carry a good old cloth bag to the market?????Nagesh Kamat

From: Shashank Shringarpure [] Sent: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 9:59 AMI do not know how I came to be on the mailing list of this group, but I havebeen following the discussions on the board and they are quite interesting.As regards to the Plastic Bags and Plastic in gerenal being an environmentalhazard, some enterprising soul(Ref: CNN "Heros") already hit on the idea ofcollecting this from all parts of the city and using it to form a mixturewith tar and burnt plastic,and making roads better, Can this be done here?All the Best for the good work you have been doingAWarm regardsShashank ShringarpureConsualtant Plastic Surgeon Dammam Medical Complex Dammam Cell:+966555790843Res:+9663482451

NowAdays we see plastic plastic goods every whereEach and evey public have a responsiblity for this. including myself. i think how we avoid plastic from our life. plastic will be " Devil sweet heart" in our life . Friends please avoid using theromocol, plastic plates in forthcomimg homely festivAls. think and use only eco-friendly product at yourhomely functions. including eco-ganesha. we have working for promotingeco-friendly products around mumbai.we welcome your kind response.

Dear Dr Shringarure,

There are a number of models availble for recycling and reusing plastic. At Anandwan (Baba Amate's) there is a unit which shreds collected plastic bags which is used as stuffing for car cushions and many other products. In Mumbai there is a commercial model where plastic is collected and recycled after processing. As you mention plastic is also used for road construction. The point is who would do.



Yes, indeed would like to thank Mr. Iyer for sharing the eye opening presentation - have fwdd it to as many people as possible. Would also like to know if all of us from karmayog cannot be instrumental in the govt. imposing a ban and implementing the ban on all plastic products. Undoubtedly there will be a lot of lobbying by big time manufacturers but it has to be a mass movement on the part of the general public to succeed. Small time shop keepers do not want to suffer in their business just because they are not supplying plastic bags. The problem has to be attacked at the roots. Why not start from the supermarkets which are unneccessarily packing even vegetables in plastic. Can somebody pl. let me know whom shd i write to in case i want to stop the supermarkets from putting veggies in plastic ??xavier louis <> wrote:Mr Iyer's has pointed out the dangerous trend to continue the use of Plastic bags. As a manufacturer of Plastic Bags for over forty years - only virgin and not recycled, I certainly vouch for the ban on plastic bags. I have travelled extensively the US and the far east and find that in the US, the trend to continue using recycled plastic bags , on a large scale, especially in Malls and big department stores, goes on unabated. It is a fact that the production of recycled plastic bags is more dangerous than virgin material. The workers involved in Units producing plastic are exposed to the harmful atmosphere and of course, the material has its disastrous effect down the line.The BMC and the government enforced the ban some time ago, but the trend continues and once again, this material is freely used. To effectively carry out the ban, we should start at the production line. Units involved in the production should be shut down or made to divert their producing. Raids on wholesalers and retailers of the plastic bags should be carried out periodically and the material confiscated and destroyed.Xavier Louis,><

Sirs,I recently faced another dilemma. Being a tree lover too, i objected to the corporation appointed contractor eyeing trees to be cut along the path where he had been contracted to lay drainage pipes. Communicating to him through pressure channels got him listening but the pipes have been laid avoiding the trees but passing as close as 1 foot to the tree base-thus roots to one side would have been cut-has this helped ?-or have they created a future problem viz an unstable tree. Raising this point i was stunned(which is often, if you live in baroda long enough with your eyes open) to be told that they did not know and neither did they have an expert they could consult-but i need not worry!!! all would be fine. The other irritating line i was made to listen often was-People like you need not worry for every tree we cut we plant 100 others in the forests!. Could i have the Tree Lovers Foundations contact details. Going to, through or around the official machinary takes so much time and energy that unless a working person has a day off-its difficult to contest a wrong being done. Also why not have a web page with such and other info about the civic laws of the land-which are dilligently hidden by the government machinery-hence no accountability! Or a Baroda Karmayog web site which could be started with the WIkipedia model and anyone with that particular expertise, knowledge or experience could contribute.regards, Sandeep Sharma

It must be made mandatory for malls and supermarkets to sell bags to the public for Re.1 if they need a bag. This will ensure that people bring their own bags thereby reducing the amount of plastic used. Same should be the case will small shopkeepers. Gradually, people will convert to jute or cloth which can be reused over and over again.
Posted by: "gaurdso"


In Thane, when the then commissioner Chandrashekhar was on road widening drive, hundreds of trees along the roads were transplanted. For transplantation, the tree is pruned i.e. last small branches are cut and the entire root base is loosened. The tree is then lifted with a crane and transported to other selected site for replantation. The tragedy however was that under the guise of chopping off branches, they completely denuded the tree leaving only the stump. Such stumps just stood as poles with no new leaves on it, forget growing into its original size.

So there are ways of doing things but they are done in such bureaucratic fashion that the very objective is lost. Yes, it is an irony.

In the case you mention, you rightly and logically felt it is wrong to cut roots on one side to make room for pipes. Now what if roots grow again and penetrate pipes or what if such unstable tree falls! Here therefore either they should shift pipeline and if it is not possible, transplant the same tree or show you the new plantation.



We can find people to do it if it is a profitable business idea.


Sir,I have raised this issue so many times, but I could'nt find anyresponse from our own members. So I left it there. Yes, itmust be made mandatory for all shops to stop issuing things inplastic carrybags. Whenever I go shopping, whether it beMumbai, Bangalore or Chennai, I carry a cloth shoulder bag withme and refuse to accept carrybags. All people, including thebilling clerks at the malls look at me as if I am a curious funnycreature. I dont mind. Whenever I get an opportunity, I tryto advise people and shopkeepers against use of these bags, whichcause a housekeeping problem, drain-clogging problem and increasethe greenhouse gases if processed. But it all goes to deafears. The initiative must come from governments to BAN suchcarrybags, which was imposed in Mumbai couple of years ago whenthe big floods came and was forgotten the next day. It would beeven worth it, if somebody, a NGO like the Karmayog to move a PILagainst use of these bags.Sometime back, I had read a news item that a husband-wifescientist pair from Nagpur had developed a scheme by which theywere planning to convert all plastic waste into petroleumproducts. This has a double advantage, one, getting rid of theplastic waste, and two, augment our efforts to improve the energysituation which is deteriorating day by day. Somehow it gotdeleted from my machine. If any of the members can lay theirhands on the scheme, it would be worth it.The initiative must come from each one of us to reject theplastic carrybags and use our own cotton/jute carrybags. Wewere in existence even before the plastic age came. Let us goback to that.Also educate the younger generation, especially the housewives tocarry their own bags when they go shopping.One unavoidable use of the polyethelene bag is packed grains,sugar, bread, etc., which have to be protected properly fromfungus, infections, etc. Loose grains are never safe to buy, asthe shopkeepers keep the bags open during night and they aresusceptible to be rampaged by rats, mice, cockroaches, etc duringnight time. A solution has to be found to solve this problem.RegardsGopal from Bangalore.

No comments: