GUWAHATI, Oct 18 - Environ, a group for environmental management for sustainable development, has appealed to all sections of people � especially the puja committees � to ensure celebration of an environment-friendly Durga Puja and to achieve the real meaning of Swachh Bharat.
In this context, Dr Amarjyoti Kashyap, president of Environ, has suggested a multi-pronged strategy for minimising the environmental hazards caused by the festivities.
�Using banana leaves and trunks for preparing dishes and plates instead of laminated paper dish and thermocol plate and dish is an ideal option. Thermocol and laminated paper dishes are non-biodegradable and even non-recyclable, leading to major environmental degradation and soil pollution today,� he said.
Suggesting use of reusable and washable glasses and cups instead of plastic cups, Dr Kashyap said that although plastic cups are non-biodegradable, yet they are recyclable. �We can use plastic cups by avoiding the use-and-throw practice and ensuring a proper collection mechanism at source for recycling,� he added.
Cautioning against the use of tetra-packs containing milk, vegetable oil and fruit juice, Dr Kashyap said that tetra packs are non-biodegradable and non-recyclable, and a major source of serious environmental pollution.
He added that products of tetra pack should be replaced by the use of products contained in PET bottle and polyethylene pouch packs, which are recyclable non-biodegradable material.
On the other hand, Dr Kashyap said, as all the biscuit wrappers are non-recyclable plastics, bakery-made biscuits should be preferred as they are available at all places and can be purchased in paper bags or wrappers.
�Use of plastic should be strictly avoided where possible due to the alarming growth of plastic waste generation in Assam. As per a survey conducted by Environ in 2004, generation of plastic wastes in the State was 50,000 kg/day; 15,00,000 kg/month and 1,80,000,00 kg/year. Whereas, in the year 2014, generation of plastic wastes increased to 1,48,000 kg/day; 44,40,000 kg/month and 540, 20,000 kg/year,� he said.
Pointing out that non-recyclable plastics are creating major environmental problems including destruction of eco-systems, Dr Kashyap said matters stood worsened by the failure of the authorities in having a sound collection and disposal mechanism for non-recyclable wastes.
�Nobody is collecting non-recyclable plastic waste. The result is that these wastes always remain in the land field and cause serious environmental degradation,� he said.