Shopkeepers are cashing in on the polythene ban by selling environment-friendly bags at an increased price of Rs. 5 to Rs. 7.
Shopkeepers said selling non-woven bags at increased prices has given them an additional profit of at least Rs. 150 per day. They say it is also a means to attract customers to their shop.
Non-woven bags are more popular than jute, cloth or paper bags as they are more durable and weigh less.
“During the first few days of the ban, we were giving away paper bags instead of polythene bags but it was costing us more and these were not durable as well. Hence we bought the bio-degradable non-woven bags which costs us Rs. 3 and Rs. 5 for small and big bags respectively. We are selling them at a profit margin of Rs. 2,” said Pankaj Singh, a shopkeeper at Royal Tower Market in Shipra Suncity, Indirapuram.
The wholesale price for a one-kilogram pack of polythene carry bag is around Rs. 20 while one kilogram of environment-friendly non-woven bag costs around Rs. 50. Moreover, there are more polythene bags in one kilogram compared to the number of non-woven bags.
“The main priority for a shopkeeper is to sell the products. After the polythene ban was put in place, making alternate arrangement for customers has proved to our advantage as customers tend to come to a shop which provides carry bags rather than one which does not,” said Manoj Goyal from Vaishali (sector 3 and 4) market association.
Some shoppers have also started bringing their own bags. “On the first day (of the ban), I could not avoid it and bought bags from the shopkeeper as I had purchased a lot of items. However, now I make it a point to take my own bag to the market in order to avoid paying extra,” said Shalini Rawat, a resident of Sector 5, Vasundhara.