Use biodegradable disposables: Officials to suppliers, religious places | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Use biodegradable disposables: Officials to suppliers, religious places

Garhwal officials called for use of biodegradable glass, plates and bowls, saying non-biodegradable tableware items are still being used in the state despite a ban on plastic disposables

dehradun Updated: Jun 24, 2017 19:34 IST
Neha Pant
Additional commissioner, Garhwal, Harak Singh Rawat displays  biodegradable tableware in Dehradun on Saturday.
Additional commissioner, Garhwal, Harak Singh Rawat displays biodegradable tableware in Dehradun on Saturday.(Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT)

Garhwal officials called for use of biodegradable glass, plates and bowls, saying non-biodegradable tableware items are still being used in the state despite a ban on plastic disposables.

At a meeting at the Garhwal commissioner’s camp office in Dehradun on Saturday, additional commissioner (Garhwal) Harak Singh Rawat asked local disposable item suppliers, members of Paper and Plastic Association and representatives of religious places to “adopt biodegradable disposables” on a priority basis.

He displayed disposable tablewares made of bagasse (dry pulpy residue left after the extraction of juice from sugarcane) during the meeting, which are compostable and turn into manure after 60 days of being disposed.

Rawat said directives would be issued to magistrates, police heads, divisional forest officers and officials of urban local bodies across the Garhwal region to encourage people to take similar steps.

The had imposed a complete ban on the use, sale and storage of plastic, polythene or thermocol products -- including bags, disposable materials, such as glasses, cups, plates and packing materials -- in January this year after an order of the Uttarakhand high court in December last year.

“However, the desired success could not be achieved (despite putting a ban on plastic disposables) due to lack of availability of eco-friendly options. But now that such products are available, locals will be made aware of them for conserving the environment through their use,” Rawat told Hindustan Times.

“Disposables are widely used at religious places also, so their representatives will be sensitised. We will run this as an awareness campaign for a month, after which we are planning to make it compulsory,” he said, adding that plastic products lead to environment pollution, choked drains and loss of fertility of agricultural fields.

The initial cost of biodegradable items may be a little higher than the plastic disposables, but they are “totally eco-friendly and cost-effective in the long run,” said Dehradun-based activist Sujata Paul Maliah who is into distributorship of a similar range of products.

“They will also help in reducing the damage done to environment by plastic-based disposables,” said Maliah, who was present at the meeting.