English | Dzongkha Saturday, September 21, 2019

Taking plastic ban seriously, Samdrup Jongkhar

Kinley Wangchuk, Samdrup Jongkhar
Aug 7, 2019

Shopkeepers in Samdrup Jongkhar thromde are strictly following the plastic ban rules. Plastic is now replaced by the biodegradable bags after the National Environment Commission reinforced the ban on the use of plastic items this year from April.

Although Samdrup Jongkhar thromde banned the use of plastic bags in 2016, the ban could not be effective due to lack of enforcement.  However, after reinforcement on the ban of plastic bags in April this year, many of the shopkeepers in Samdrup Jongkhar thromde stopped using plastic bags.

Today in the vegetable market white plastic bags are used for packing only, vegetable vendors give biodegradable bags for those who do not carry their own shopping bags.

“We don’t give polythene bags to costumers and moreover we don’t bring it any more. But we have to bring white plastic bags for packing things.  Sometimes we have to give white plastic bags to those costumers who do not bring shopping bags.  Many carry their own shopping bags,” said Tshering Yangdon, a shopkeeper in the thromde.

We don’t give plastic at all but then we have to bring white plastic to keep the vegetable fresh. Many of the customers use to carry their own shopping bags but few don’t, so we give biodegradable bags to them,” added Jangchub Dema, a shopkeeper in the thromde.

And most of the shopkeepers who use plastics to wrap areca nut (domas) before has now switched to papers for wrappers.

As per the thromde’s request, many of the shopkeepers have stopped selling plastic cups and paper plates.

According to Samdrup Jongkhar thrompon Karma Sherab Thobgyal, there might be some shopkeepers still using plastic and says thromde has identified Friday as monitoring day and every Friday thromde officials carry out strict checking. Thrompon also said carrying shopping bags is the best alternatives.

The use of plastic was first banned in 1999 in the country.

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