Himachal’s buyback policy for plastic yields positive result

A year on, Dharamshala MC collects 20 tonnes of single-use non-recyclable plastic waste under scheme of which 13 tonnes have been used by Solan cement plant as fuel
Volunteers segregate waste during a clean-up drive at Indrunag near Dharamshala.(HT Photo)
Volunteers segregate waste during a clean-up drive at Indrunag near Dharamshala.(HT Photo)
Updated on Oct 29, 2020 12:44 AM IST
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Hindustan Times/Dharamshala | ByNaresh K Thakur, Dharamshala

A year since its launch, the Himachal Pradesh government’s buyback policy for non-recyclable single-use plastic has yielded positive results and helped the civic authorities in making Dharamshala town cleaner.

So far, the Dharamshala municipal corporation has collected 20 tonnes of single-use plastic through its collections centres besides rag-pickers. It buys the plastic waste from residents for 75 a kg. “We have six collection centres where people deposit the plastic waste and are paid instantly,” says Dharamshala mayor Devinder Singh Jaggi. The collection centres at Norbulingka, Bhagsunag, Sheela Chowk and Charana Khad were set up in December last year.

“A cement company in Solan takes this trash from the MC and uses it as fuel in its factory. Of the 20 tonnes of waste, the company has taken away 13 tonnes so far,” says Jaggi. The MC does not charge anything from the company and the cost incurred is cleared by the urban development department, he says.

Helps cut down pollution

Earlier, people would throw single-use plastic into rivers, resulting in water pollution. “The scheme has helped in the civic body’s endeavour to make Dharamshala cleaner,” he says.

Urging people to help the authorities in eradicating the plastic problem, Jaggi appealed to residents of the town to participate in the movement.

The Himachal Pradesh government had approved the policy to buy back non-recyclable plastic waste in September last year. The scheme was officially launched on October 1, ahead of the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

Himachal Pradesh is one of the few states to have banned plastic bags, thermocol cutlery and plastic water bottles of less than 1-litre capacity.

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