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  • Writer's pictureShreekanth Murali

I believe a small change is all it takes to make a big difference

A petty shop owner is setting an example by offering only cloth bags to his customers


Selvam Stores, Karthikeyapuram,Madipakkam
Selvam Stores, Karthikeyapuram, Madipaakam came forward to be the change and bring the change. He is refusing to give plastic bags and instead gives cloth bags.


I believe a small change is all it takes to make a big difference,” says A. Muthu, owner of Selvam Stores in Karthikeyapuram, Madipakkam.

He is living his philosophy.Over the last two months, he has been only providing cloth bags to his customers.

I purchase these cloth bags in bulk. These cost the same as plastic bags,” he points out.

So, not just from the environmental point of view, but also the financial, this initiative is reasonable.Muthus has also been successful in influencing many other shop owners in the locality to start providing cloth bags to their customers.

Of course, I understand that plastic cannot be completely eliminated from our lives but unnecessary use of it can be avoided. Besides, if we start making a change now, we will eventually bring about a huge difference in our environment, says Muthu.

- Kavya C

The Hindu DownTown

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How did Muthu (Selvam Stores) stood forward for this change?

Muthu always had that urge to bring the change and wanted to stop using plastic bags. However his challenge was not knowing how to implement that. If he needs to change from plastic bags to cloth/ Jute bag he needs to do two things. First one is to refuse to give plastic bags and ask the customer to bring their own bags. However again he felt there is a practical challenge doing so. Since most of them buy veggies or other groceries while they come back from work they didnt had any bags handy. Second option for him to offer cloth / jute bag to buy so that they can start using cloth/jute bags. However this wasn't feasible either . The cost of cloth bags sold outside is way too high for him to purchase and sell them to his customers. While one of his customers who resides close by his shop spoke about the new initiative "EcoMithra" he got the sign of relief and go motivated further to pursue his dream of getting rid of plastic bags. EcoMithra gave him 150 bags . Those bags are made from old unusable cloths which are stitched by SHG women tailors. These bags were given to Muthu for 10rs per bag. Muthu was so happy for getting rid of the plastic bags as well he realised by buying those bags he is also helping those SHG women tailors in someway. Now customers who step in to his shops happily and readily want to grab those cloth bags. Definetly Muthu is inspiring many other shops and will stand as good example how the change can done.

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