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Students urged to join movement against plastic pollution

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 04, 2019 11:46 pm
Thangi Mannen and Kovi Meyase along with faculty members of Alder College, on July 4 in Kohima.

Our Correspondent
Kohima, July 4 (EMN): Understanding the hazards of plastic pollution on the environment and on humanity at large, environmental activists in Nagaland are urging the student community to shoulder responsibility and to tackle the issue ‘before time runs out.’
Thangi Mannen, founding member of nongovernmental group Green Team Kohima, has sought active participation from the students to spread the message of plastic pollution. They can do so by spreading awareness about the Best Practices of managing waste, for instance.

Mannen was speaking as a resource person at a daylong seminar on waste management that was conducted for college students, on July 4 at Alder College in Kohima.

Speaking on the topic ‘my waste, my responsibility,’ Mannen said communities, individuals, households etc. must devise solutions to segregate waste.

‘One should work towards taking responsibility of their own waste as such interventions reduce the load on landfills,’ she said. She was of the view that segregation of waste should be made mandatory as it is the key to any waste management initiative.

“The most successful initiatives are the ones that are community driven,” Mannen said. She expounded that reuse, reduction, refill, repairing and repurposing; replacing, recycling and using the bins are some of the ways to managing waste.

The government of India’s Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules of 2016, which was amended in 2018, have given clear guidelines for sustainable waste management, the mandate of which goes beyond the municipal areas, she said.
Referring the situation in Nagaland, Mannen said that the government of Nagaland had notified the Nagaland Integrated Waste Management Policy of 2019 (NIWMP) on April 8 2019, to attain sustainable waste management throughout the state by 2030. This was in compliance with the National Green Tribunal’s orders and the Central government’s SWM Rules 16/8.

Mannen also spoke about some of the guiding principles of government rules and policies in regard to plastic pollution. These aspects include restrictions on burning of waste; focussing on waste reduction, opting for zero plastic waste events, and availing alternatives by using biodegradable materials.

“Sustainable waste management needs to start with a vision of slowly reducing the load on the landfill,” Mannen said.

‘Participatory intervention that is site specific and stakeholder specific needs to be initiated. These interventions have to be designed with people’s participation with clear road map towards the vision and also with an acknowledgement that there is no magical wand that will waive the problem of pollution away.’

The administrator of the Kohima Municipal Council, Kovi Meyase urged the students to change the lifestyle of using plastic and waste generation. He encouraged them to be responsible and become an agent of change. Further, he appealed to the college’s authority to set aside a day for students to contribute ‘toward the betterment of the city.’

During the programme, students raised questions on issues relating to waste management besides matters about the KMC’s initiatives.

By Our Correspondent Updated: Jul 04, 2019 11:46:45 pm