KOLKATA: Plastic bags banned by the government for environmental reasons last year are back in the city markets.From retail hubs to community markets, from grocery stores to food outlets, the ban on single use plastic is being flouted rampantly.On July 1 last year the government had banned the single use plastic but lack of vigilance and absence of viable alternatives led to the return of banned plastics in shops and stores.According to shop keepers in traditional shopping hubs like Gariahat, Hatibagan and New Market there is no viable alternative to plastic bags to package merchandise and buyers contest they are unable carry jute or cloth bags to fetch their hauls. As a result, they are forced to provide single use plastic bags to customers. “We were losing business due to the ban. Customers would opt for shops which would provide bags to them. There are hardly any affordable alternatives available in the market as a result of which we had to resume use of banned plastics,” said Suraj Kumar, a vendor in Burrabazar.Last year after the government imposed the ban many market committees directed their members to stop using the banned plastic bags. But according to them the administration did not follow up the ban with strict vigilance due to which bags made a comeback.“There have been no raid or sensitization sessions in any of the big markets by the administration. The government has also failed to provide any viable and affordable alternatives. Prices of everything are already very high and customers are unwilling to pay extra for jute bags,” said the secretary of a market committee in New Market.There are some customers who carry their own bags to fetch the purchases but most people do not carry any bags to the markets.Many market committees said they have strictly directed their members to reject use of the banned variety. “We keep sending circulars to our members to do away with the use of single use plastic,” said Sushil Poddar, president of one of the biggest traders’ body in the city.