Viable alternatives to plastic discussed

ZIRO, Nov 2: The two-day state level workshop on solid and liquid waste management (SLWM) concluded here on Friday with an intense panel discussion on alternatives to plastic, and their viability in hilly regions, particularly Arunachal Pradesh.
The participants were divided into eight groups, comprising delegates and resource persons from Sikkim, Darjeeling and Assam. The session was chaired by PHE&WS Commissioner Marnya Ete, and assisted by PHE&WS Chief Engineers Toko Jyoti (W/Z) and Tomo Basar (E/Z).
The groups stressed on discouraging and avoiding the use of plastic-based one-time disposable products, which are primarily responsible for polluting the environment and are the major cause of solid waste.
In a release, the PHED informed that the discussions narrowed down to use of organic natural resources which are abundantly available in the state, “with the idea of reviving and adopting use of age-old accessories popularly used in the past by way of encouraging local entrepreneurs with government aid and subsidies for bulk production.”
The recommendations included promoting the use of locally available banana and bamboos leaves for use as plates, cups, mugs, spoons, and other household items.
It was also recommended that use of packaged drinking water and food products be avoided in official and social functions.
The PHE&WS department said it pledged to do away with packaged water bottles and other disposable plastic products in all its official functions.
The technical session generated the idea of installing water dispensers in large office establishments, and installing ‘water ATMs’ at popular tourist places.
“The workshop ended with the commitment to minimize the usage of single-use plastic products, and to take up with the government the matter of prohibiting the use of plastic products in a phased manner to attain the goal of zero waste,” the department said.
The technical session was followed by a field visit to Hong village for inspection of SLWM projects undertaken in the village.
The two-day event was inaugurated on Thursday by PHED Minister Wangki Lowang. SBM (G) Mission Director Sentum Yomcha also attended it.