Paper drive to clear plastic


Kalimpong, June 29: The Kalimpong Municipality will seek the help of self-help groups (SHGs) and traders to promote the use of carry bags made from environment-friendly material like paper and jute in lieu of the banned polythene bags.

The civic body’s health officer S.B Zimba will hold a meeting with members of SHGs tomorrow and urge them to start manufacturing paper bags (locally called thungas). “We will take the help of the Kalimpong Chamber of Commerce to market the thungas,” said Zimba.

“We are taking these initiatives since we believe we cannot solve the plastic problem just by imposing a ban on its use. The people must be provided with alternatives to plastic carry bags,” he said.

The indiscriminate use of plastic in the town is borne out by the fact that plastic are the major component of solid waste that has been accumulating on the streets since Monday after residents stopped the civic body from depositing trash in the dumping ground in Lower Bhalukhop.

The Chamber of Commerce, too, has wholeheartedly endorsed the decision to ban plastics.

In a four-point resolution adopted at a meeting here, the trade body said it would also urge its members to revive the old practice of making thungas during their free time.


5 thoughts on “Paper drive to clear plastic

  1. Carloz

    Its high time the authorities do something about this..and soon.. Plastic is bad for the environment..takes so much time to decompose.. upto 20 years for a bag and 500 years for a plastic bottle.. Our garbage management systems in place are ancient..and definitely need immediate attention. Plastic should be banned immediately..and paperbags should be used.


  2. As long as I remember there have been sporadic drives to ban all sorts of plastic bags.. but invariably they all seems to just peter out.

    Education, encouragement and enforcement are the key factors that can reduce the plastic bag use..

    I can totally understand the reluctance of traders and shoppers to use paper bags in the wet wet monsoon season. However one can encourage use of reusable cloth/canvas grocery bags.. And traders can come up with clever solutions to encourage their use..
    Such as:
    -A discount for folks who bring their own reusable bags,
    -Sell the bags for reduced rates in their stores,
    -Start a bag ‘borrowing or lending’ system for those who forget to bring their own bags.
    -By making the use of these bags “cool”, make it into a hip fashion item (???)
    -Kalimpong organizations such as Rotary, Lions, HORAK, Chamber of Commerce, etc, can probably order these bags in bulk (with suitable advertising or public service messages printed on them) and distribute or sell them at a subsidized price.

    There are so many ways to try this out.. and a small town like Kpg would work as the perfect experimental platform..


  3. prabin moktan

    if you visit kalimpong today, you would be forgiven for believing that the town has turned into a huge dust bin…the municipality has stopped clearing the garbage and the same are allowed to gather and rot at various rubbish dumps scattered throughout the town..the stench is everywhere..things have come to such a pass because the town planners have no place to take these household wastes for either disposal or retreatment…this has caused a lot of social tension… for example the residents of haat bazaar who are naturally peeved at the mountain of rubbish accumalating in their own backyard are at loggerheads with the good people of bhalukhop who have been up in arms against the municipality which had been for so long treating their backyards as the refuse dump for kalimpong town…the municpality has been effectively barred by the local action of bhalukhop residents from dumping the town rubbish down the hills side at stones throw away from munal lodge..somebody suggested an alternative at bhalu khola but even that has been mired in controversy… this banning of plastics is an easy, cosmetic issue that is in keeping with global trends…what is acute and pressing is that the town planners come up with an effective strategy to deal with household waste before the town faces an inevitable epidemic…


  4. It is such a pity to hear of the present sad state of Kalimpong’s garbage issues.

    Garbage is always something that we either sweep under the carpet, or dump in some hidden area, far away from the public eye. We all like to believe that we do not produce garbage, that we are all perfect clean citizens.

    But the obvious fact is that garbage is generated by each and every person. I will not claim to know the numbers and statistics but with a little effort one could calculate the average daily waste produced by a single person. And then we multiply that by the population of the town, and then we all know and realize that we DO HAVE trash to deal with.

    Who deals with it though?

    I would think it’d be the town municipality. Isn’t that what one pays taxes for? The most basic services?

    So what is the Kalimpong municipality doing right now? What are the short term steps and the long term solutions planned for this huge problem? Surely there’s someone who’s out there thinking about this problem and trying to come up with a solution.. Is there?

    Or should this be taken over by a private group of people now? Should a private group be empowered to try and solve the issues? A private waste management company? A group of citizens who would be willing to pool their expertise and resources to get to a solution?

    The Municipality has the (limited) right to make executive decisions regarding the town for town “common” areas. It should put its foot down reagrding the garbage dump site, and at the same time use modern and scientific methods of waste management in these dump sites so that they do not become stinky open sores.. Other places have done it.. why can’t we?

    Or the municipality should take steps to outsource experts in the field to get to a solution. Or delegate authority to interested (valid) citizens’ groups to tackle the problem.

    The common factor here seem to be the ‘Kpg Municipality’. The onus lies upon them.


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