Disposable plates being resold without recycling?
DIMAPUR, MARCH 13
ON Wednesday night, March 12, a citizen Vikeduo Linyu was driving home when he found along a roadside near West Police Station in Dimapur, an unidentified scavenger carefully cleaning and neatly stacking up something that people generally forget once they have used it – disposable eating plates.
The unidentified rag picker was collecting the plates – food remainders still sticking to them – from an open garbage dump near the police station. It is believed that the plates were used at a social event – possibly a wedding – and discarded at the open garbage dump.
“I found this guy collecting this disposable paper plates and staking them up around 10:30 pm. I took his picture, questioned him but he acted like a lunatic. He was acting like a lunatic more like a mute person,” he said indicating that the rag picker did not talk,” Linyu said.
The unidentified rag picker, a non-local in his 50s, was collecting the disposable items and stacking them up carefully. The images show possibly plates made of Styrofoam, the commonest material available in the local market. Generally, disposable plates and disposable cups are sold wrapped in simple plastic sheets, and without proper details about manufacture standards, market protocols such as licenses and trademarks or even health information.
Like all disposable products such as syringes, or cups and water bottles, disposable plates are to be used only once and then destroyed. Only after they are ‘crunched’, filtered, and remanufactured after proper recycling processes are complete are they to be used again.
Reports that untreated plastic water bottles, which are manufactured only for single use, were being used by local businessmen in Dimapur were doing the rounds in Dimapur years ago. Linyu feels that the man was collecting the Styrofoam plates to sell and not for recycling considering the way he was handling the items.
Linyu admitted there was no way to telling if there was any economic motives behind the man’s careful activity. “Yes, we can’t rule out but I am sure he will sell it back the way he is staking it up,” he said.
He said to raise awareness among the public to be aware of where the plates they use for eating during social events could be coming from.