The students of classes VIII-XII of Julien Day School, Ganganagar visited the local market accompanied by their teachers. They spent almost an hour interacting with shopkeepers and vendors regarding the ill effects of plastic on our environment and on our health and urged them not to use plastic bags less than 75 microns thick. The students displayed placards and posters to enlighten sellers on the harmful impact of single-use plastic bags. The interaction brought to light the difficulties of implementing a ban on the use of plastic bags. The students and teachers were utterly shocked and taken aback by what they saw and heard at the marketplace.
They were informed that on most occasions customers do not carry a carry bag and force shopkeepers to give them one free of cost. “The same customer who would pay rupees 10 to buy a bag at a mall will demand a free one from us.” A student quoted a grocer as saying.
Debashmita Ghosh, a student of class XI said, “At the first shop we visited, the shopkeeper was arrogant and rude and shouted back at us that they are aware of the rules and we need not cite them.”
According to Mr Bobby Baxter, principal of the Ganganagar branch, “The students did face resistance from shopkeepers, some of whom are reluctant to use thick plastic or cloth bags reportedly because of its price. But despite that, such campaigns have to be consistent and only then there could be a gradual change.”
The shopkeepers alone are not at fault. Customers too need to carry bags when they visit markets. “We need to speak to our parents about it,” said Pratiksha Maity, a class XII student.
The main aim of the students was to increase public understanding and the best way to give it a start was through the marketplace. The message given out to our community is to change their perception and to understand the dangers of plastic pollution as it’s a universal concern thereby empowering more people and organisations to take action against its use. The only solution is public awareness on a large scale. Let us join hands in breaking the addiction to plastics and contributing to a healthier lifestyle thereby making this mission a success. let us come together and MOVE AWAY FROM THE THROWAWAY CULTURE.