CHENNAI: After regular inspection by the market committee, almost 90 per cent of shops at the Koyambedu wholesale market switched to cloth and paper bags in recent days. Traders assured that plastic bags won’t be used in the market after the committee suspended 18 shops’ licence.
The Koyambedu Market Management Committee sealed at least 18 shops at the market for using banned plastic bags. They have seized 2,000 plastic covers and given them to Greater Chennai Corporation. A total of Rs 7 lakh fine was collected from the traders so far.
“As their livelihood has been impacted with the shops closed, traders from three markets — vegetable, flower, and fruits — gave a formal written agreement stating that if plastic bags are found used by the traders, their licence can be cancelled and that the association won’t interfere,” said S Shanthi, Chief Administration Officer, Market Management Committee.
“So we have permitted to reopen the sealed shops,” she added.
The usage of plastic bags is unavoidable in a few places in the market. For instance, garlands, and Nerium oleander (arali flower) are packed in plastic covers and placed in ice boxes.
Similarly, mushrooms and baby potatoes are packed in plastic containers. Traders ensured that within a month, there would be an alternative for the package.
“We are creating awareness among the traders and people regularly. Even if customers are using plastic bags we request them to buy a cloth or paper bag. At times we provide it for free as they hesitate to purchase carry bags for Rs 5 or Rs 10,” said S Muthukumar, president, Koyambedu Semi-wholesalers Welfare Association.
The market committee is also focusing on the clearance of garbage dumping on the way by the traders.