Come Friday and Retailers will start charging for shopping bags anywhere between Rs 1-7, in line with the Government notification to charge customers for the plastic carry bags from 1st July 2011. This initiative will be first piloted in Mumbai before being rolled out across the country.
“Charging consumers the cost of plastic carry bags would lead to a substantial drop in consumption of plastic bags whilst at the same time allow flexibility to service consumers who are ready to pay, said Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (rai).
RAI, which represents companies such as Future group, Aditya Birla More, Reliance Retail and Shoppers Stop among others has coordinated the initiative amongst them to charge customers for the plastic carry bags from ranging from Rs 1 to 7 depending on the store format. While, customers will be charged only the material cost of bags, they will also be given the option of bringing their own bags.
In February this year, the Union environment ministry had notified new rules for plastic waste management that require municipal authorities to fix a minimum price for carry bags as well as ban the use of plastic sachets for storing, packing, or selling chewable tobacco.
With millions of bags used everyday, retailers could actually benefit from the new norm in terms of improving their margins.