Kashmir, Heaven On Earth, has decided to turn green as the people of the valley lap up environment-friendly fabric bags. They've found that these are reusable and have many benefits.
With the two-month old ban on plastic bags, jute, fabric or recycled paper carrier bags have now become a common sight in the valley.
People can be seen carrying their shopping in jute or other fabric carrier bags.
With the increased demand, sellers are happy to earn a few extra bucks on these eco-friendly bags.
Residents are happy with the government initiative, which is helping to make their picturesque town cleaner and healthier.
"People like fabric bags. Earlier, people used to throw polythene bags anywhere. It used to clog drains forcing and dirty water would flow over. It used to help in spreading diseases.
The government has done a good job by banning it. The demand for plastic bags has decreased a lot," said Inayatullah Dar, a resident.
The drive has also helped to generate employment for people who are now making these fabric bags from cloth and recycled paper, including newspapers.
"In the process, the cottage industry has started looking up. Now people are stitching cloth bags, which are getting popular. People are now instead of binning their old newspapers reselling them for a little less than their purchase price. This has also helped in the circulation of newspapers," said Khawaja Farooq Renzu, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Srinagar.
The ban has been imposed in the entire state, but tourist places are seeing its stricter implementation to discourage both residents and tourists from using plastic bags. By Afzal Bhat