Small Steps

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On this Independence Day, we take a pledge to make our soul, our houses, our streets, our cities, towns & villages, our schools, our workplace and our planet PLASTIC BAG FREE!


It is an ongoing campaign, Join Us!!


Plastic bags littering the streets and fields. It’s an unpleasant scene but an increasingly common one in many nations, including India. It is estimated that in India alone, approximately 5,600 tones of plastic waste is generated daily. The widespread plastic waste is not only unsightly, it’s dangerous. The familiar plastic carrier bag that many of us use in our daily errands is non-degradable and therefore a hazard to the environment and all who live in it.

When discarded along the roads, used plastic bags create an eye sore that also endanger animals. Hungry cattle, pets and other creatures may consume it in their search for food and suffer the subsequent harm to their health. Along with this, mechanical shredding or burial of plastic reduces the fertility of the soil, as the damaging polythene particles get mixed in with the soil particles.

Given India’s other pressing social concerns especially relieving widespread poverty, recycling plastic has not yet risen to a national priority. Consequently, the people of India suffer from a lack of appropriate recycling resources and often a lack of awareness about the environmental harms of using plastic. Used plastic bags therefore become pure waste on the roads and fields. This is a truly sad and unfortunate development; especially in a country that traditionally had no concept of waste (everything was recycled).

The main argument of plastic bag manufacturers and of the traders, who use them, is that there is no equally inexpensive and convenient alternative. This is factually correct. But the argument is based on private costing rather than the social and environmental costing of plastic bags. This draws attention to the contradiction between private benefit and social cost.

The social and environmental costs of using plastics bags far outweigh the very obvious private benefit. The incentive to look for ecologically acceptable alternatives would go up if two initiatives are taken:

FIRST, consciously we say “NO TO PLASTIC BAGS”.

SECOND, manufacturing of plastic bags is effectively prohibited and ban on their use is well monitored. The design team at Upasana Integral Design Studio became aware of this problem and has taken steps towards bringing a change. In this regard, they used their creative energy as a tool and came up with a solution to the environmental problem of plastic carrier bags: the Small Steps Cloth bags. Small Steps was launched by Upasana with the thought of offering a project of “GRATITUDE TO MOTHER EARTH” on Earth Day 2007.

Small Steps was launched by Upasana with the thought of offering a project of “GRATITUDE TO MOTHER EARTH” on Earth Day 2007.

The Small Steps Cloth Bag is an alternative to plastic bag which has travelled throughout the world.

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