Though the ban on use of plastic carry bags has already come into force in Bihar, the comparatively higher prices of environment-friendly carry bags and possibility of demand-supply mismatch of such bags have emerged as the two biggest challenges in implementing the ban.
According to experts, the development of an alternative economy based on manufacture of cloth, jute and paper carry bags should coincide with behavioural changes among people.
Avinash Mohanty, director, centre for environment, energy and climate change at the Asian Development Research Institute-Patna, said, “The ban on plastic carry bags will encourage entrepreneurial activities and result in development of an environment-friendly carry bag industry in the state.”
Once the industrial units start manufacturing such bags, the demand-supply mismatch will automatically end.
Currently the cloth bags are coming to the state from Ranchi and Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, which makes them costlier as the transportation charges are also factored in it.
The cloth carry bags at present cost Rs 2 per piece. The plastic carry bags, on the other hand, are available at just 50 paise per piece. There is also a huge scarcity of cloth bags in the market due to the demand-supply mismatch.
Those found guilty of violating the ban will be penalized from December 23.