The initiative is expected to reduce plastic products

To reduce the use of plastic mugs, cups and plates, Pemathang gewog in Samdrupcholing drungkhag, Samdrupjongkhar, is going to produce those products with areca nut leaves.

This is one of the waste management initiatives taken by the gewog and also to replace the plastics for a climate solution.

Pemathang gewog mangmi, Manraj Chowan, said the gewog has purchased the machine through gewog development grant (GDG) and dzongkhag budget. The machine costs about Nu 600,000.

He said the machine will be handed over to a women’s group and the group also use the funds generated through the sale of the products. “The maintenance of the machine will also be looked after by the group.”

With the group members trained on how to operate the machine by the Samdrupjongkhar initiative (SJI), the group members will operate the machine. The machine will be stationed in the gewog centre.

The gewog mangmi said that the plastic products like plates and cups were used widely in the locality during festivals polluting the environment. “It’s time we stop using it by introducing those products produced by areca nut leaves.”

He said that officials from SJI, dzongkhag, the group members and gewog have sensitised the people on waste management since people have been throwing wastes everywhere. “The gewog officials also organise cleaning campaigns.”

Manraj Chowan also said that every household in the gewog has two pits for bio-degradable and non-degradable.

He said that the women’s group collect the non-degradable wastes like plastic bottles to weave bags, mats and baskets. “That will help to reduce plastic wastes in the gewog.”

Meanwhile, a businessman, Dawa, said the gewog’s initiative is timely and he hopes it will help to reduce plastic wastes in the locality.

Kelzang Wangchuk | Pemathang