Gangtok, 03 Jul:

On the occasion of ‘International Plastic Bag Free Day’ today, a meeting was held at the conference hall of Gangtok Municipal Corporation.

The meeting was attended by Mayor Shakti Singh Chaudhary in the presence of GMC Commissioner, Tsewang Gyachho, along with the participation of stakeholders from different fields including members and representatives of traders associations, Travel Agents Association of Sikkim, hotel associations, WWF, Zero Waste Himalaya, Sikkim Chemist Association, Big Bazaar, Labor Department, Police, Stars of Hope NGO, students of Neel Tara Academy, representatives of Food & Civil Supplies Department, traders of Lal Bazaar and others.

During the course of the meeting, it was discussed that although the use of plastic bags is banned in Sikkim, it is still being used at many establishments. The meeting, thus, aimed at strengthening the plastic ban in the State.

Addressing the gathering, Mayor, Mr Chaudhary, said that active participation and co-ope

ration of all the stake holders and the general public is necessary in enforcing the plastic ban policy of the government. Without public participation and mass awareness, the department or the GMC single handedly cannot do anything, he added.

Likewise, GMC Commissioner, Mr Gyachho, said that it is the duty and responsibility of each and every individual to join hands with the department and make this plastic ban policy of the government a success.

He urged people to be aware of the harmful effects of plastics and plastic bags and avoid the use of any plastic products.

An open discussion was also held during the meeting wherein the representatives of various organizations placed their views and suggestions on plastic ban and issues like the use of PP bags that are being frequently used by establishments like Big Bazaar and other shops.

The officials of Big Bazaar have been directed to find an alternative for the use of PP Bags that are being provided to the customers.

Various ways of coming up with an alternative for the use of plastic bags, garbage bags and other issues were also discussed.

Two students of Neel Tara Academy, Arithang, Kalina Pradhan and Dichen Wangchuk Bhutia of Standard IX and VII, respectively, gave a short presentation on the plastic ban.

The duo informed the gathering that they have started an initiative to ban the use of plastic used for covering books and notebooks in every school in the State. They have requested the GMC and concerned department to take their initiative further at a broader level. The students were accompanied by their Principal.

The meeting was also addressed by GMC Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Sonam Choppel Bhutia, and other departmental representatives.