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Centre for Regulation and Governance School of Habitat

V.N. Purav Marg, Eden Gardens, Deonar, Mumbai,


Maharashtra 400088

PROGRAM -M.SC IN REGULATORY GOVERNANCE

TOPIC: QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS 2

SEMESTER: 2ND

YEAR: 2018-2020

STUDENT NAME: NARENDRA

ENROLLMENT NO.: M2018RG011

DATE: 23th MARCH 2019


STUDY OF EFFECTS FROM PLASTIC BAN ON LOOSE GROCERY
VENDORS IN CHEMBUR MARKET AREA, MUMBAI

INTRODUCTION

Why is this Research relevant?

In month of June 2018, below headlines from Mid-Day.com was a common sight in
almost every dailies.

“On Day 2 of the ban on single-use plastic, BMC fined 72 shops of the 867 inspected
establishments. Also, inspection report was issued to five shops for not paying fine.
Most of this happened in Chembur and surrounding areas” – Mid-Day.com

Plastic ban has been a hot topic in Maharashtra around mid-2018. As the ban received
mixed reaction from different section of the society and a variety of research and
statistics highlighting the problems faced by venders due to the ban emerged. The ban
introduced heavy fines for offenders i.e. INR 5,000 for the first time offenders; INR
10,000 for second time offenders and INR 25,000 with three-month imprisonment for
third time offenders.

Literature Review
As per Ministry of Labour, Government of India, average daily earning of a vendor in
Mumbai is INR 65 that adds up to monthly income of INR 1,950. This shows that the
prescribed fines are a hefty amount for vendors and would have a significant influence
on their economic stability. As per reports dated June 24, 2018 by Times of India and
Mumbai Mirror, vendors selling meat, street food (with home-delivery services) and
vegetable faced considerable heat due to the ban. Amidst this outcry of vendors about
plastic ban, it is being looked upon as a crucial tool to curb environment pollution and
has high potential for implementation in other states of India. At present, apart from
Maharashtra this ban is practiced in states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh,
Delhi, Goa and West Bengal.

On Global level, single-use plastics are recognized a major source of non-degradable


solid waste leading to various waste management and environment pollution issues.
Different countries have attempted to deal with the issues by either ban or taxation on
single use plastics. Like India, globally such attempts by government have received
mixed reactions as some appreciated the move while others criticized it sighting
inconvenience due to lack of proper alternatives. Many researchers terming the ban to
be lose-lose situation, have mentioned the plastic ban as bad for both economy and
environment. Bill Wartz has supported this theory in one of his articles in the
Foundation of Economic Education, titled “Banning Plastic Bags Isn't Just Bad
Economics—It's Bad for the Environment”.

Vendors, often referred to as street vendors, are integral part of the global urban
economy and constitute 0.89% of the urban population (as per NSSO 1993-94
estimates). Mumbai is considered to have approx 2,50,000 such vendors.

As per Informal Economy Monitoring Study (IEMS), they constitute a big chunk of the
population in the city who are self-employed and are source of living for several
households. Vendors are job creators for porters, transporters, storage providers and
many others. They are also a source of revenue generation through licensing,
taxations, fines and permits. Generally, vendors are considered as an informal
economic sector but with considerable contribution in development.

We understand that vendors have faced significant heat of plastic ban and if no proper
steps are taken in time, this would lead to loss of several livelihoods contributing to
issue unemployment on large scale and this would further lead to adverse impact on
India’s development. From insights presented in various sources of information, we
also sense a link between plastic ban and economic condition of vendors especially in
business of meat, vegetables/fruits, street food packaging and loose grocery.

2. FIELD OF RESEARCH

Thus, the objective of my individual research field is to study loose grocery vendor
segment as my qualitative research target groups.

The Empirical Field for this research is Chembur Station Market Area

As per our Research Topic we had planned to choose the place where we could find
heavily dense vendors who carry on small businesses like Vegetable/Fruit vendors,
Street Food vendors, Meat vendors, Loose Grocery sales shop, flower vendors, loosely
sold dairy products, street footwear sellers, hawkers etc, who has to provide their
goods to the customers mostly by providing covers or bags and which are to be packed
on the spot.

For choosing the right place near the vicinity of the institute we had planned to have
normal visit to Govandi, Chembur. So first we visited Govandi where we observed in
govandi the number of vendors were less and loosely scattered when compared to
those who are in chembur and most of the vendors were having their shop at different
spots with mixed activities having less density so then we moved on to chembur where
we observed that almost in 4 to 5 km long stretch we could find so many vendors with
huge diversity of business activites right from very small business activity to large one
with small vendors being heavily densed on a single strip on either side of the roads,
under the metro bridge, near the entrance gates of railway station, near the bus stops
and few of the shops were even inside the areas away from the roads. Most of the
vendors didn't have packed goods and they have to provide these goods to the
customers by packing these goods at the spot itself.

3. SAMPLING METHODOLOGY

The sampling methodology used for selecting the sample for the interview was
purposive and stratified sampling. Purposive sampling was used as I was in need of
only 3 participants. All participants of them were from chembur having small shops
and one among them was using a small trolley or cart to sell the goods in chembur
market. The sample was small in number and we required them to answer questions
with regard to their experiences on the ban of plastic use. Stratified sampling was also
deployed as we had to ensure that our chosen sample had adequate diversity in terms
of place, based on vendors timing slots in the market area in order to ensure that we
had diverse data points to add validity to the findings of our study. The selection of the
prerequisites and individual units of the sample was based on the subjective judgment
of my group of researchers. The subjectivity with regard to the prerequisites to be
chosen was done on the basis of our review of literature.

Data Collection
The process of data collection has been two-fold. Initially secondary data collection
was conducted by reviewing the literature which involves research papers and
scholarly articles. The subsequent stage of data collection was in the form of primary
data collection. The methods of data collection used during this process were in depth
personal interviews (semi- structured) using questionnaire and as observers.

The questionnaire protocol was followed to avoid any misinterpretation and questions
were prepared in accordance with the subsequent questions. The researchers ensured
that comfort of the interviewee was accorded prime importance. Adequate steps were
taken to ensure that the interviewees were aware of what research was being
conducted so that they were in a position to make an informed decision
consensually. The interview was bit unstructured also to enable the participants to
elaborate descriptively on themes that mattered to them. The venue, i.e the chembur
market is a place where the interviewees would have been used to engaging in
discussions with the interviewer thus the environment would be conducive for an
interview. The researchers maintained a pleasant disposition throughout the interview
to make the environment conducive for the participant to speak without any
inhibitions of how responses would be interpreted.

I had even collected more data based on the responses given by the respondent which
the questionnaire didn't consist of, so the overall data collection was made bit flexible
by not sticking only to the questionnaire and making the data collection more useful
and productive.

4. LIMITATIONS

The first challenge we encountered was with our sampling methodology as the sample
selected might not have been representative of the population overall so the data
collected would not be sufficient enough to explain the overall concern of effect of
plastic ban on the loose grocery vendors in chembur market area. Also the questions in
the questionnaire taken into consideration might not be that qualitative as there could
be few chances that we might have not collected more important data which would
also be helpful in explaining the research analysis. Even when I asked them that, can I
record the overall communication between us, as they didn't trust me much and they
started feeling bit insecured about what would be the after affects of their responses so
they directly rejected by not allowing me to record the conversation and started giving
simple answers or responses which were kind of neutral.

5. ETHICAL CODES FOLLOWED

The researches throughout the course of the research attempted to maintain high
ethical standards by following the standard ethical practices. Ethical techniques were
used in consent, maintenance of privacy, confidentiality and informing participants of
all possible risks and benefits of participation. During the research data collection,
researchers ensured that all prospective participants would be provided a consent form
whose contents would inform participants with regards to the potential risks and
benefits associated with their participation in the discussion. The researchers informed
the participants that confidentiality would be maintained while simultaneously
informing them that they had the freedom to exit the discussion if they felt
uncomfortable.
6.DATA ANALYSIS:
The objective of this section is to present an analysis of the data gathered during the
process of primary data collection. The vendors first of all had the knowledge of
imposition of plastic ban in overall Maharashtra which they thought would be very big
impact on their business but they thought some alternative options would be available
for them by the state govt considering how it effect on small scale vendors.
The alternatives used after the effect were Newspapers, Paper bags and
Cloth bags but costed bit more for the vendors during the initial days of plastic ban in
Maharashtra.

In the initial days of the plastic ban the vendors had no idea how to run their business
as they use to provide the plastic cover to the customers before the ban but after ban
they had no clue what to do with customers in the initial days as the customers were
demanding to provide for the plastic bags to carry the things they borrowed. So the
vendors had no option but to give the cloth bags or paper bags bought with their own
money which was leading to severe losses in their business activity.
Also they some the vendors faced huge fine due to not following
the rules and they had to face the consequences of the penalty on them without any
excuse for the first time or any other reason. They faced huge losses in their business
as most of the customers would not purchase the goods as they never carried a bag
along them and demanded that its vendors responsibility that they should provide the
bag.

Also customers when they were said by the vendors that no covers or bags would be
given to them then the customers would prefer going to some other shops. So there
was a situation which could be seen during the initial days, that almost most of the
vendors started saying no covers or bags would be provided but the customers are
supposed to get along with them when they visit the market for shopping. So within
few days customers had no option but to get their own cloth bags or paper bags for the
shopping. And the vendors had not much problem with their business as customers
came to know that vendors wont give any bags with the goods they would be
purchasing so customers started realising that they are supposed to carry their own
bags. Within few days customers are now following the strict rules imposed by the
Maharashtra government, where the vendors are now not facing any such loss in their
business activity.
7. CONCLUSION:

After doing the literature review and collecting primary data and analysing it we could
come to an conclusion that the plastic ban had affected a lot to the vendors at a huge
rate as they are facing with many problems like losing customers or getting new cloth
bags or paper bags with their own investment leading to the business loss. Also they
had no alternatives suddenly available to manage the issue where they were in
dilemma that how they should carry on their business activity as none of the customers
were getting their own bags for the shopping. So in the initial phase of the plastic ban
they faced huge losses but are now fine with their business growth as the customers
are getting their own bags for the shopping.

RM II: QUESTIONNAIRE
Topic - Study of effects of plastic ban on vendors in Chembur Station Market

1. Name of the Respondent- ________________________

2. Please tick the type of the shop:

Sr. no. Type of the shop Tick whichever is applicable

1 Grocery (Lose Products)

2 Meat Vendors

3 Vegetable/fruit Vendor

4 Packaging for take


home street food

3. Are you aware about the plastic ban in the state?


a. Yes
b. No
4. If yes, what alternative do you use?
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________
If no, what alternate do you see in the future?
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________

5. How much did you spend on plastic bags before the ban (in Rs.)?

________________________

6. How much do you spend on alternatives per month now (in Rs.)?
______________

7. What is your Monthly Sale (in Rs)?

Monthly Sales Choose below


Less than 10,000
10,000- 30,000
30,000- 50,000
Above 50,000

8. Do you prefer using plastic bag


a. Yes
b. No

If yes, why do you prefer using plastic bags?


_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________

9. Are the alternatives of plastic bag easily available?


a. Yes
b. No

10. Views on plastic ban?


_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

11. Any financial loss due to plastic ban, (in terms of legal entities)?
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________

12. How have you responded to the plastic ban?


1. Charging the customer extra for providing alternative bag
2. Including it in the cost of the item.
3. Absorb the cost

13. If not charging to customer, by what percent it affects your business (approx.)
________________________

14. Behavioral change in customers due to plastic ban?


a. Loss of Customers
b. Customers getting their own bag
c. Others
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________

SAMPLE TRANSCRIPTS

Transcript 1
(All the conversations have been translated from Hindi to English)

ME – Hello sir
VENDOR –Ya Hello
ME – Explained him overall objective of my research questionnaire and asked him for his response
to answer the questionnaire
VENDOR – Ok go ahead with your questions but I don't have much time, finish it soon.

ME – sure sir, I will take just few minutes


VENDOR – fine then

ME – Are you aware about the plastic ban in the state ?


VENDOR - Yes

ME – If yes what alternative do you use?


VENDOR – Newspaper and paper bags

ME – How much did you spend on plastic bags before the ban?
VENDOR – Rs300/month

ME – How much do you spend on alternatives per month now?


VENDOR –Rs300 on newspaper

ME – What is your monthly sale?


VENDOR – Rs25000 in off season.

ME – Do you prefer using plastic bag?


VENDOR - Yes

ME – If yes why do you prefer using plastic bag?


VENDOR – As it is available for cheap price.

ME – Are the alternatives of plastic bags easily available?


VENDOR – Yes

ME – Views on plastic ban?


VENDOR – If a customer buys more items then they demands for the cover for free which is very
difficult to manage business and plastic ban has led to huge loss of customers.

ME – Any financial loss due to plastic ban (In terms of legal entities)?
VENDOR – there was no such thing but per customer Rs3 or 2Rs loss leading to loss of 5 to 6
customers per day.

ME – How have you respond to the plastic ban?


VENDOR – Charging the customer extra for providing alternative bag.

ME – If not charging to customer, by what percent it effects your business (approx.)?


VENDOR – Rs2500

ME – Behavioral change in customer due to plastic ban?


VENDOR – Customers are getting their own bags these days where initially it was a huge issue.
TRANSCRIPT 2
ME – Are you aware about the plastic ban in the state?
VENDOR – Yes

ME – If yes what alternative do you use?


VENDOR – Newspaper and Cloth bags

ME – How much did you spend on plastic bags before the ban?
VENDOR – Rs110 per month

ME – How much do you spend on alternatives per month now?


VENDOR – Rs1700 per month

ME – What is your monthly sale?


VENDOR – Rs10000 to 30,000

ME – Do you prefer using plastic bag?


VENDOR – Yes

ME – If yes why do you prefer using plastic bag?


VENDOR – If allowed to use plastic bag then I would prefer .plastic bag as it is less cheap compared
to cloth bag

ME – Are the alternatives of plastic bags easily available?


VENDOR – Yes

ME – Views on plastic ban?


VENDOR – In one way its good as customers are getting their own bags and few are still dependent
on us. Also if something alternative is available for cheap then it would have been good even for us

ME – Any financial loss due to plastic ban (In terms of legal entities)?
VENDOR – No

ME – How have you respond to the plastic ban?


VENDOR – Charging the customer extra for providing alternative bag.

ME – If not charging to customer, by what percent it affects your business (approx.)?


VENDOR – Rs1700

ME – Behavioral change in customer due to plastic ban?


VENDOR – Loss of customers in the initial phase but now customers are getting their own bags.
TRANSCRIPT 3

ME – Are you aware about the plastic ban in the state ?


VENDOR – Yes

ME – If yes what alternative do you use?


VENDOR – Paper cover

ME – How much did you spend on plastic bags before the ban?
VENDOR – Rs900per month

ME – How much do you spend on alternatives per month now?


VENDOR – Rs4500 per month

ME – What is your monthly sale?


VENDOR –Rs10,000 to 30,000

ME – Do you prefer using plastic bag?


VENDOR – No

ME – If yes why do you prefer using plastic bag?


VENDOR – No

ME – Are the alternatives of plastic bags easily available?


VENDOR – Yes

ME – Views on plastic ban?


VENDOR – Its really a good decision by the state govt but should have come up with good
alternatives from a vendors point of view also. Now as I am not investing extra money on plastic
covers so therefore saving Rs900 per month, as customers are getting their own bag for the shopping.
Otherwise I charge for the cloth bags

ME – Any financial loss due to plastic ban (In terms of legal entities)?
VENDOR – No

ME – How have you respond to the plastic ban?


VENDOR – Charging the customer extra for providing alternative bag.

ME – If not charging to customer, by what percent it affects your business (approx.)?


VENDOR – Rs4500 all around at least per month

ME – Behavioral change in customer due to plastic ban?


VENDOR –Initially they never got their own bags but as per now we are charging them for the extra
bags so they are now getting their own bags as it would cost them at least Rs12 per cloth bag
depending on the size of the bag.
TRANSCRIPT 2
TRANSCRIPT 3
REFERENCES

1. Bill Wartz. Banning Plastic Bags Isn't Just Bad Economics—It's Bad
for the Environment, the Foundation of Economic Education. March
11, 2018. 

2. Central Ground Water Board Report - Ground Water Information
2009 

3. Debdulal Saha. Working Life Of Street Vendors In Mumbai, The
Indian Journal of Labour 
Economics, Vol. 54, No. 2, 2011. pp 301-
325. 

4. Dirk Xanthos and Tony R Walker. International policies to reduce
plastic marine pollution 
from single-use plastics (plastic bags and
microbeads): A review, Marine Pollution Bulletin 118 (2017) 17–26.

5. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-plastic-
ban-no-suitable- alternative-for-traders-at-bmc-exhibition-5231899/

6. https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/mumbai/other/maharashtra-
plastic-ban-threatens- meat-vendors-vegetable-sellers-and-small-
retailers-in- mumbai/articleshow/64721519.cms 


7. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/mumbai-retailers-
vendors-feel-the- plastic-ban-heat/articleshow/64722307.cms 


8. https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-43-industrial-clusters-
imperiled-in-india-1327305 


9. https://www.freepressjournal.in/mumbai/mumbai-plastic-ban-despite-
business-being- 
affected-street-vendors-still-support-order/1249985

10. https://www.mid-day.com/articles/day-2-of-plastic-ban-bmc-fined-
72-shops-in- mumbai/19551189 


11. Julian Morris and Lance Christensen. An evaluation of the effects of


California’s proposed plastic ban, July 2014. 


12. Mumbai Hopes To Clean Up By Criminalising Plastic Bags: Foreign


Media. NDTV, Vishi Joshi, The Washington Post, June 26, 2018
(https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/mumbai- hopes-to-clean-up-by-
criminalising-plastic-bags-foreign-media-1873574) 


13. National Association of Street Vendors of India – NASVI


(http://nasvinet.org/newsite/statistics-the-street-vendors-2/). 


14. National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), 2012. A Survey on the
Economic Effects of Los Angeles County’s Plastic Bag Ban, Policy
Report No. 340. August 2012. 


15. Residents protest fire at Deonar dumping ground. The Indian Express.
25 March 2008.
16. Single Use Plastics – A Roadmap to Sustainability, United Nations
Environment Programme, 2018.

17. Valéry Laramée de Tannenberg. The hidden economic benefits of
banning plastic bags, Journal de l'environnement. Translated by Samuel
White, April 2016.