MUSSOORIE, May 29
Guess what is slowly covering Mussoorie’s hillsides? Plastic.
More than 50% of the trash along the tourist centric hillside is plastic. The findings came out of a cleanup drive by the Forest Department (Government of Uttarakhand), Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB), and Dehra Dun-based think tank Gati Foundation recently.
The audit by Gati foundation found out plastic from brands such as PepsiCo’s Lay’s, Nestlé’s Maggi, ParleAgro’s Frooti and Appy Tetrapacks made up the top three majority of the plastic waste. Other brands that made their presence known in the plastic brand audit significantly included Vadilal and Amul ice-cream wrappers, Britannia and Parle biscuit packs, and Haldiram’s. Other constants were packets of chewing tobacco as well as medical waste like used half-used blister packs of pills, syrups, and medicines.
The cleanup and audit at Company Garden, a popular tourist site were a part of The Himalayan Cleanup, a drive being organized across ten mountain states of India as a run up to World Environment Day. What made the exercise different from various cleanups is the fact that findings from the report will be shared with the Ministry of Environment for further action.
Anoop Nautiyal, Founder Gati Foundation told eNewsDesk, “Extended Producer Responsibility, which places the onus on manufacturers to take responsibility of the plastic generated during the entire lifecycle of the product is a very crucial element of the Plastic Waste Management Rule 2016. Sadly it is never really spoken about. This audit will hopefully be a step in that direction.”
SDO Mussoorie, Neeraj Sharma who could be seen actively participating in the cleanup told eNewsDesk, “Awareness is the first move to changing things. The clean up drive was a step in that direction.”