While the debate on who should manage the garbage crisis is still on between the Corporation and the State government, the city residents are struggling to find alternative ways for waste disposal.

Talks on a ban and boycott on plastic carry bags invariably lead to the question, what else? Paper and cloth bags are the way forward, according to many who have long forsaken the use of plastics and embraced environment-friendly materials.

The common notion is that paper bags cannot serve the same purpose as plastic bags. Cost effective, reusable and environment friendly bags that use paper and clothes as raw material are available. They are water-resistant and strong, points out A.R. Shafeek, director, Swadeshi Grama Vikasana Kendra. The centre has been conducting training sessions in paper-bag making and has trained over thousands of volunteers, self-help group members and Kudumbasree workers.