SHILLONG, Oct 2 - The Meghalaya Government today urged citizens to assist the authorities in making the State �plastic-free� even as efforts are being made to recycle plastic waste.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, speaking on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi�s 150th birth anniversary here, said the State Government offices had barred single-use plastics and plastic bottles, and urged the people to take similar steps in their day-to-day lives.
Sangma said both the State Government and the general public have a responsibility towards safeguarding the environment and urged the people to take a pledge to reduce dependence on plastics.
�This is our humble tribute to this great man, our Father of the Nation,� Sangma said.
He revealed that the Government had started a �plastic challenge� in which people and organisations were asked to collect plastics from their homes, villages, roads and streams, and deposit these with the authorities.
As part of the challenge, the Government had collected 17 metric tonnes of plastics, which would be recycled. Sangma said a cement company had agreed to buy the plastics for one of its plants for use as fuel.
�The cement company will use the plastic as fuel. The ambient air quality around the plant will be monitored by the Pollution Control Board to ensure that there is no harmful emission,� Sangma added. According to officials, the factory has been retrofitted to consume plastics in place of coal.
Sangma further said the Government was also trying to use the salvaged plastic in road construction. Two such roads have been built on an experimental basis.
The Chief Minister said that plastics could be reused in a better way, and administered an oath to the gathering to discourage use of plastics and desist from littering.