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The Great Polythene Ban

Polythene bags, rigifoam and such inconveniences are banned from the 1st of September 2017. How will we…

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Polythene bags are banned now. So are rigifoam lunch containers and lunch packets. Does this mean we will face a sudden lamprais-boom? Hopefully. Either way, only good things shall result as a cause of this ban.

Why?

Uh, because the planet is dying and we're polluting our environment with such monstrosities. This isn't the entire reason but it should give you an idea as to what we're going through right now.

Also, plastic is the devil. It takes about 500-1000 years for a single shopping bag to decay. So we're doomed. Unless we take action, that is.

All this plastic and other garbage eventually finds its way into the bottom of the ocean. Not good. If we're going to doom ourselves, might as limit it to only the human race because I don't see whales or turtles walking out of Arpico with shopping bags.

How will this be put into effect?

Remember back in 2016 the government issued a blanket ban on Polythene & co? Well that wasn't effective enough because people didn't listen/care and so we went about with our careless dumping.

Reports have been coming in from around the Colpetty area of a truck making announcements in the early morn. This sounds a bit apocalyptic and it may very well be if we don't listen.

There have been numerous articles in the papers as well as many awareness campaigns to educate the general public and to possibly save someone from having to pay an exuberant fine over a plastic bag.

What else are they banning? Just those three things isn't going to make a difference, no?

Artwork: @redhausart via instagram

It will. 

But, other than those they'll also be barring the use of rigifoam containers, polystyrene cups, plastic cutlery and polythene bags that are thinner than 20 microns. Which means that you can't use sili-sili bags, but thicker plastic bags (like the ones you get at House of Fashions etc) are okay.

How do people feel about this?

There have been mixed reviews and reactions. We don't know why, or how anyone can have mixed reactions when it concerns the safety of the planet, but humans always find a way.

Small businesses might find it difficult to adjust to the new and slightly expensive methods of packaging. 

People also remarked that brown paper or cloth isn't really a suitable replacement as either wouldn't hold goods that are way too heavy and then some. 

What does all the plastic get replaced with?

The ladies at the Perera & Sons close to work informed me that they've been given a few updates on the current plastic ban and you'll now be able to walk out of small bakeries like this with biodegradable plastic bags. Same goes for most if not all bakeries and cafes. Everyone's afraid of the 10k fine.

Supermarkets and the like will now be promoting the usage of cloth or reed bags.

  • Keells has implemented the usage of compostable bags for when you shop for vegetables and they offer a free reusable bag with every Rs. 2,000 purchase.  They've also switched to paper bags for items purchased from their bakery.

  • Cargills offers a 25% discount on reusable bags and you get 5 loyalty points every time you shop with the Cargills brand reusable bag.

In addition to all this you can:

  • Get biodegradable take-out containers. Ananta Packaging has a whole range that's biodegradable as well as convenient. Or just use tupperware.

  • Take a bag with you to the supermarkets.
  • Ditch the plastic bottles. Take a small canteen of water wherever you go. If you can lug that Louis Vuitton, a container full of water shouldn't be an issue.

For more info, check out our blog on how to not be a garbage person.

So what happens if you get caught using plastic bags?

Obviously the country's plastic content isn't going to be completely eradicated overnight. Sili-sili bags are still in circulation but that's mostly because people don't know what to do with their leftover stocks, so they just give it to other people to solve this issue.

Does it work? No. 

IF you get caught using/manufacturing/distributing plastic bags/items you will have to pay a Rs. 10,000 fine and could face up to two years in jail. Is this worth a sili-sili bag? Don't be sili-silly.

September is here. Is the ban working?

According to most people I know, no. I walked by a random sillara kada and a gent sauntered out with a plastic bag full of paraphernalia. 

Someone mentioned people coming into work like nothing's wrong, with their plastic carry-bags which is sad.

Let's hope everyone wakes up by the time September ends, or in the near dystopian future the planet will go into eternal sleep.

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