Moral policing by children to help curb plastic menace

Shimla:With the ‘plastic free hills’ campaign having achieved tangible results, school children are being roped in to sustain the gains by authorizing them with moral policing responsibility for further curbing the usage of plastic bags.

“The ‘carbon neutral and plastic free’ campaign has entered its 3rd Phase, wherein school students are not just being sensitized towards the need for environment protection but are being empowered to play a vital role in containing environment degradation and getting rid of plastic waste, an government spokesman said.

He added, “Students have already started moral policing near their institutions and residential localities as the earlier campaign phase has already warned about the penal action that plastic waste and litter would attract.”

Prime object of this campaign is to make the student community aware of its important role in environment protection.

Those schools, which prove most affective in curbing plastic use or help in environmentally safe disposal of plastic waste, would be honoured with a Green Trophy. The best performer would also be given a cash prize of Rs 25,000, second best a prize of Rs 15,000 and the 3rd prize would carry a cash award of Rs 10,000, said the official.

Students are an integral part of eco-monitoring and environment auditing scheme and will be carried out educational institutions and eco-clubs in urban areas of Bilaspur, Nainadevi, Dalhousie, Hamirpur, Dharamshala, Palampur, Mandi, Shimla, Nahan, Poanta Sahib, Solan and Una.

Whereas the first phase of the ‘Polythene Hatao-Paryavaran Bachao’ (Save environment – Shun Plastics) campaign, banned usage of plastics and resorted to mass collection of waste littered all around the state, the second phase that followed emphasized upon zero tolerance and managing such waste.

The 138 tons of plastic collected from the districts was shred and mixed with bitumen for tarring roads and in the second phase a buyback price of Rs 3 per Kg was of polythene was announced for proper recycling of such waste.

Sustained efforts have helped to clean up 1757 hot spots and bring about a marked improvement, the spokesman said.

Lest the litters make a comeback, every section is being made aware of its stake in protecting the environment. Sensitizing children as guardians of environment, prosecuting perpetual defaulters, authorizing law enforcing agencies to impose fines and concerned traders / house owners would be held responsible for litter in their neighborhood, said the spokesman.

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