Household plastic waste management advocacy for women and youth

A survey in Thimphu Thromde and Kawang Gewog found that women manage about 75 per cent of household waste. To encourage positive behavioural change for the future, the Bhutan Ecological Society and the Gross International Nature are training women and youth in Thimphu Thromde on identifying and segregating plastic waste for proper disposal. The advocacy aims to train 1,000 women and 500 youths.

Around 200 participants from the RBG cantonment area in Thimphu Thromde attended the Household-Level Plastic Waste Management Advocacy programme. The advocacy is tailored specifically for the communities of Thimphu Thromde and Kawang Gewog.

The programme’s success lies in engaging women and youth, equipping them with the knowledge of plastic waste identification, segregation and the mechanism and technologies involved in effective plastic waste management.

“Today we learned about the segregation of waste, how to take care of plastics, and what kind of waste can be recycled. This programme helped us to understand what kind of garbage can be reused and recycled,” said Kuchum, a participant.

“Today I got new ideas. We have not heard about such programmes being conducted so far. With this advocacy programme now, we learned about the segregation of waste,” said Pema Choden, another participant.

The advocacy programme also educated participants on identifying household plastic waste based on the plastic resin identification code.

The Plastic Resin Identification Code is a symbol that shows the type of plastic a product is made from and is usually found on the bottom of plastic items.

Through the training, each institution or entity will receive customised plastic waste bins based on population size and location to properly segregate plastic waste. There will be three bins in each set, each one of four types of plastic waste.

“We taught them how to identify the different types of plastic waste that comes out of their homes and then be able to segregate them in right bins. Through this project, we are also giving them segregation bins for the plastics which can be recycled and we will be also collecting those plastics waste they are segregating and recycling into products,” said Tshering Lhamo, the project lead of Gross International Nature.

Gross International Nature, a youth-led environmental conservation organisation will oversee plastic waste collection and segregation. They will initially test and then set a regular schedule to prevent facility overflows.

Waste will be weighed and recorded during collection for inventory reports. This data will also be used to distribute incentives transparently. The Bhutan Ecological Society and the Gross International Nature are discussing the details of the incentive system.

Sonam Pelkid

Edited by Sonam Pem

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