Mizoram women striving towards eco-friendly plastic alternatives

Mizoram: Mizoram is known for its efforts to preserve and protect the green cover from the hazardous use of plastics that are proving to be carcinogenic for the environment. The state recently held a day-long camp to cut down the usage of plastic bags and to make paper bags.

The state is inhabited by various tribes who practice a wide range of religious customs. Blessed with a diverse range of geographical features, the small state caters to a number of nature lovers and at the same time cares for its surroundings.

To remove the use of plastics in the capital of the state, Aizawl Municipal Corporation is considering banning the use of plastic bags in Mizoram.

A self-help group consisting of women in the city came up with an initiative to make paper bags with the help of newspapers and other waste materials of different shapes and sizes. In fact, the love for hand-made eco-friendly paper bags is giving a new hope to many people especially women.
“There are around 19 self-help groups under the federation that we have formed. We work as much as we can as a social worker and at Durtlang we have 9 schools and in all the schools we are engaging the students to work together towards cleanliness. We are taking a step forward and also working hard to ban polythene and at the same time, we impart training to many youths on how to make a paper bag and ban the usage of plastics. We now urge for full support from the people to maintain cleanliness,” said Chairman of Self Help Group Federation, Varkhungi.

There are around 630 SHGs in Aizwal who are working persistently to maintain cleanliness and hygiene by undertaking various steps, including the making of paper bags. After enough paper bags are prepared, it is distributed among the shopkeepers to create awareness about the plastic ban.

These self- help groups are working under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Urban Livelihoods Mission, which is one of the flagship programmes of the centre, under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. This mission is implemented by Urban Development & Poverty Alleviation Department.

In Aizawl area, under DAY-NULM, the self-group are looked after by city mission manager K. Zothanzuali.

National Urban Livelihoods Mission is implemented in eight districts of Mizoram.

According to reports, more than 25 countries across the world have either adopted or proposed a form of a ban on plastic bags.

Such an initiative taken up by the people of the state will go a long way in bringing a significant change that will help in protecting our planet and environment.