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Meghalaya wants to be free of plastic while turning waste to wealth

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma urged people to collect plastic waste which will be used by Dalmia Cements as fuel for producing clinkers as fuel instead of coal.

Updated: Oct 03, 2019 00:55 IST

By David Laitphlang, Hindustan Times Shillong

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary in Shillong. (HT PHOTO)

Plastic can be converted to wealth, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma said Wednesday on Gandhi Jayanti to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Addressing officers and staff at the Secretariat, Sangma said people are being encouraged to collect plastic waste even as he announced that the government has banned the use of single-use plastics and plastic water bottles.

“17 tons of waste plastic collected by rag pickers and village level volunteers across Meghalaya will be consumed by Dalmia Cements as fuel for producing clinkers,” he said.

He urged people to collect plastic waste which he said will be used by Dalmia Cements as fuel for producing clinkers as fuel instead of coal.

The cement company will pay Rs 30 per kg directly to the scrap dealer engaged by the Swachh Bharat Mission office for collection and transportation of waste plastic, he added.

Speaking to HT, Sangma while conceding that it was a gargantuan task, said it is fathomable when the people and all stakeholders come together as one. “It is all linked to cleanliness, health and the overall benefit of the state and I am of the conviction that the government alone cannot achieve unless it is a people’s movement with full and active participation,” he said. “Let’s do it together,” he stressed.

The CM had initiated the plastic ban in his office since 2018 and now there is complete ban on use of plastic cups, spoons/forks, straws, bags, folders, plastic wrapped bouquets, plastic water bottles and Styrofoam in government offices and events since September 1, 2019.

The government has also directed active participation of district administrations, municipal authorities, pollution control board, village administrations and the general public to ensure that this fructifies.

District administrations have been directed to instruct every village and locality in town/city area to segregate plastic wastes starting from households and involve municipal bodies/recyclers to collect the plastic wastes from a designated collection point.

A recycler will then collect the plastic wastes. When the plastic wastes reach the target sufficient for construction of roads, the same will be transported to a facility to start the process of shredding.

“Entrepreneurs and companies are being encouraged to sponsor plastic crusher machines, cloth bags or steel bottles as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility initiative,” Sangma said.

Installation of plastic crushing machines in prominent public locations across Shillong and other parts of Meghalaya is already underway, he added.

An attempt to build plastic roads in rural Meghalaya is on the anvil with a 10 km road to be constructed in Sohra (Cherrapunjee).

All educational institutions have been directed to include cleaning drives as part of their curriculum and dedicate last session/class of every Friday for community cleaning as part of Socially Useful Productive Work (SUPW) curriculum.

All hospitals and public health centres have been instructed to practice responsible and controlled plastic disposal such as used syringes, vinyl/plastic gloves, IV water bags, etc.

Department stores and businesses have been encouraged to urge patrons and customers to use cloth bags as alternative to plastic carry bags.


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