TODAY -

Environment Directt advocates steel glasses/cups
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 25 2018: The Directorate of Environment has started taking up steps to replace water bottles which are used in numerous quantities in feasts at various temples, ceremonies and fairs in the State with steel cups or utensils.

Since the old days to the recent years, utensils, plates, cups etc were often stored in Leikais, villages etc and used and re-used during times of feast and festivities.

However, with the passage of time, and maybe due to the conveniences it offered, plastic bottles became the trend at various feast and ceremonies thus resulting in many negative impacts to the environment which forced the Directorate to take up necessary steps to curb the menace.

As a means to reduce the impact of the single use plastic bottles, the Directorate began initiating its mission of replacing plastic water bottles with steel cups and utensils at five major temples/sacred place in the valley which host feasts and religious ceremonies everyday.

The Directorate, in collaboration with an Imphal based NGO, Indigenous Perspectives, launched the welcomed initiative at Govindaji temple, Narasingh Mandap, Sagolband Bijoy Govind, Ramji Prabhu and Iskon.

As per a survey conducted by the Directorate along with the NGO, it was found that around 250-300 people attend feasts at each of the said five religious places any given day and innumerable plastic water bottles (which are often brought by the people/family organising the feasts) are used and thrown each day.

According to Ram Wang-kheirakpam, the coordinator of Indigenous Perspectives, the initiative has been launched under the bulk reduction programme under the aegis of the Directorate of Environment.

Under the said programme, a filter which can produce 150 litres of fresh drinking water per hour, has been installed at Narasingh Mandap.

Similar plan is underway at Govindaji temple and laying of water pipes are underway.

Awareness about the programme will be spread to various Leikais so that similar techniques can be used in the community halls, he added.

He continued that single use plastic bottles, not only dirty the landscape, but also affect rivers, drains and even lakes negatively and appealed to the leaders and politicians to install hand washing facility at every community halls they build so as to reduce the menace of plastic water bottles.

On the other hand, Environmentalist Dr Kh Shamungou lauded the step as a positive one and added that nowadays, during feasts, rice is served on plastic plates resembling banana leaves which are later thrown away after use.

Such plastics are harmful and not easily degradable when burned, buried or thrown away into water bodies, he said explaining that the new initiative of replacing plastic bottles with steel utensils will help immensely in saving the environment.

Head of the State Climate Change Cell as well the Deputy Director of the Directorate of Environment, Dr T Brajakumar explained that Greater Imphal produces about 100 metric tonne of solid waste per day out of which plastic waste makes up 5 percent.

The said plastic wastes often find its way to Loktak lake thus destroying the ecosystem of the lake, he informed.

It may be mentioned that around 500 billion plastic products are used per day in the world out of which 50 percent consists of single use plastics.

Also, a million water bottles are bought and used every minute in the world.


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