Twenty seven restaurants from the Bandra and Khar areas have agreed to do away with plastic bags for takeaways and home deliveries. China Garden, Olive, Firangi Paani, Out of the Blue, Hotel Rajasthan, and a string of hotels on the Khar Station Road are among the eateries that have joined the campaign.
The decision followed a meeting of Khar police officers, the 33rd Road Khar Advanced Locality Management (ALM) and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC.) Aftab Siddique, chairman of the 33rd Road, Khar ALM and the Linking Road Citizens’ Forum, says: “Twenty seven restaurants attended the meeting and they all agreed to do away with tin foil boxes in thin plastic bags and instead, use thick plastic cartons, that households can reuse, and pack them in paper bags. Ten years ago, people that wanted takeaways would go to restaurants with their own tiffin boxes anyway.
Many of those restaurants present had been giving away 2,000 plastic bags per day for takeaways and home deliveries, she says.
“These bags are very bad for the environment because they don’t degrade. The BMC has not been successful in getting people to segregate rubbish and all we see are more and more dumping grounds coming up,” she explains.
Sartaj Bedi, general manager, Out of the Blue, says, “Right now, we don’t offer home delivery, but takeaways or giving leftovers in parcels is a small percentage of our business. We are just working out what to use instead of plastic bags and are studying restaurants in Vile Parle, where the initiative has been successful. But we can never become 100 per cent plastic-free because our staff wear plastic gloves and there is no alternative for this,” he adds.
Amir Hamza, who runs the Rajasthan Restaurant on S V Road, says: “We were using 200 to 300 plastic bags a day. We looked at cloth bags but these cost Rs 7 to 8 each, and the customer didn’t want to pay. So now we are using paper bags.”