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Monday, September 12, 2005

propagate inventive thinking

‘……Ban on plastic pouches can increase the cost of milk by nearly 100% - Alarm bells are ringing in the dairy department over the proposed ban on plastic in the state. Milk prices could rise sharply if the government does not exempt milk pouches from the purview of the ban……. Given that a litre costs anything between Rs 12 and 30, a rise of Rs 15 could make milk costlier by as much as 100%.......’ (TOI report):

The Chief Minister of Maharastra has taken a bold decision to ban plastic bags of all shapes and sizes. As is known, milk is served in pouches for well nigh fifteen years now – we have got used to this. Earlier they were dispensed in bottles, these were liable to break which meant loss to the poor vendor or the boy who delivered these bottles dutifully at your doorstep come rain or shine. I know of a couple of boys who did this as part time jobs early in the morning and then ran to school. The money they earned went towards school fees, books etc. Now, with the directive and its likely consequences there is every likelihood of going back in time. Just to ensure that a debate rages and a mass movement is launched against the decision to ban plastic bags, a report has surfaced that – ‘if the Government insists on an alternative, customers have to be ready to shell out more’. This is a case of the inability to look beyond ones nose.

When milk was dispensed in bottles, the consumer had to pay a one time charge for the bottle and, every morning, a replacement bottle was delivered. The same logic can be applied here – let the existing system of milk pouches remain, only make it mandatory that the consumer must return the old pouch. These can be returned to the originator and destroyed suitably without causing any harm to ecology. Automatically, a control of sorts will get inbuilt into the system and clogging of sewage and drains will be avoided – at least the used milk pouches will not be responsible for it any longer.

At a time when children are encouraged to go in for ‘inventive thinking’, it is expected that elders follow suit and set examples. Hope the message reaches those in authority and suitable instructions are issued.


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