KOZHIKODE: Plastic shopping bags will soon become a thing of past, with the state government set to popularise cool, trendy and convenient alternatives. Inspired by the specially designed eco-friendly foldable shopping bags made of clothes introduced by the Kannur district administration, the department of handloom came forward with the idea to brand them and promote across the state. The cloth bags are designed by students of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and so far manufactured by handloom cooperative societies in Kannur.
The government has also decided to launch a branding exercise on a bigger canvas with the help of NIFT students. In the first phase, all the government staff will be directed to keep one. “To avoid the use of plastic and encourage the sale of cloth bags at government-run handloom stores, we introduced cloth bags, which at its first appearance looks like a small pouch but when opened, it turns into a bigger shopper’s bag,” said Kannur district collector Mir Muhammad Ali. "The public has widely accepted the idea of cloth bags, and we are planning to spread it to the nook and corner of the district as part of converting Kannur waste-free." The state government is also planning large-scale manufacturing of cloth bags before imposing a total ban on plastics.