12 mountain States stand committed to Beat Plastic Pollution

Gangtok, 14 May:

Responding to the call of “Beat Plastic Pollution”, this year’s World Environment Day theme, 12 mountain States came together in Gangtok for a two-daylong workshop to discuss the issues of waste. The workshop was organised by the Integrated Mountain Initiative [IMI] in collaboration with Rural Management and Development Department, Government of Sikkim and Zero Waste Himalaya with support from the State Pollution Control Board, WWF- India, SDC - IHCAP project and FAO, a press release informs.

Over 100 delegates from 12 mountains States including Sikkim participated in this workshop.

During the workshop, participants from the various States shared about the policies and practices that were in place in their areas and also discussed on the challenges. On the second day, a session on zero waste principles and practices was led by Roshan Rai.

Planning for the Himalayan Cleanup, an event slated for 26 May, 2018 was discussed wherein cleanup drives will be held across the 12 mountain States as a show of solidarity that the mountain States stood united in their effort to beat plastic pollution.

Various institutions, schools, Municipalities, Urban Local Bodies will be taking part in this event across the Himalayan States. The cleanup also involved conducting a waste audit and brand audit on the garbage collected, which will give an idea on the amount of trash that was collected in the mountains. The collated data from the 12 States will be presented at a national WED event organised in Delhi by the Ministry of Forest and Environment.

The last session of the day had the presence of MP Lok Sabha, PD Rai. He stressed on the need to carry forward the idea of zero waste in every State as a pathway to sustainable development. Being the founding member of the Integrated Mountain Initiative, he also apprised the gathering about the concept of IMI and that it stood committed to the issue of sustainable waste management. He also mentioned that a prize could be instituted for the Himalayan Cleanup for the best clean up event that was organised amongst the 12 States.

The organizers, RMDD, IMI and Zero Waste Himalaya, have extended gratitude to all the agencies - WWF- India, State Pollution Control Board, SDC IHCAP and FAO for the support provided for this event.