One of India's leading banks- HDFC Bank, is partnering with the city's municipal authorities to educate people about the danger posed by plastic bags to the environment, and to offer recycled paper bags instead.
The bank reinforced the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) initiated anti-plastic awareness drive by distributing recycled and eco-friendly paper bags to retailers and customers across nine markets in the city.
Kolkata mayor Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya inaugurated the KMC-HDFC Bank anti-plastic awareness initiative at Gariahat Market in south Kolkata handing over HDFC Bank paper bags to a few shoppers and retailers.
The initiative christened "Be Independent of Plastic on Independence Day" is undertaken by the bank to encourage people to proactively get rid of plastic bags and use eco-friendly recycled paper bags.
Plastic bags clog gutters and storm water drains, causing water and sewage to overflow and become a breeding ground for disease-causing germs, bacteria and insects. Serious flooding in cities across the country was caused, to a large extent, by plastic bags choking drains.
Madhusudan Hegde, Regional Head, East, HDFC Bank said, "We have undertaken this initiative to generate awareness among the people about the dire need to eradicate plastic bags from our life and protect the environment.
"We will encourage citizens to use environment friendly and cost effective paper bags as the best substitute. We feel that it is our social responsibility to support the KMC and the state government in their drive to ban the use of plastic bags," he said.
Social activist and poet Chitra Lahiri, Calcutta University Bio Technology & Environmental Science department head Sudip Bandopadhyay and television personality Bratati Bandopadhyay participated in the campaign