Earlier this week, India's first pilot project on the Plastic Free Market Initiative was launched by the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (WBHIDCO) and New Town Kolkata, Development Authority (NKDA). With this initiative, the authorities claim they will be able to reduce the usage of 168 kilograms of plastic per month which will help them cut down carbon footprint significantly.In addition to this, they are also undertaking two more drives simultaneously solid waste segregation, and COVID-19 related precaution. Kolkata Society For Cultural Heritage (KSCH) will continue this project for the next 2 years. KSCH will distribute two cloth bags and biodegradable plastic packets derived from vegetable starch to all families in the area. The biodegradable bags will be used by the residents to shop non-vegetarian items. KSCH will also distribute paper bags for carrying grocery items and clay pots for sweets. Though the alternatives are costlier than plastic, the additional cost will be borne by the NKDA as subsidy under its Smart City Project. Door-to-door awareness campaigns and monitoring of the market will also be conducted to check plastic use.In January this year, KSCH conducted a thorough survey among 29 shop owners before starting the project. Their aim is to achieve their target within the next 11 months and convert the market into a sustainable one.