Who is Littering our trails? Them, not us!
A 250ml Red Bull Can costs 100 and weighs approximately 300 grams.
Takes a minimum of 80 years for the Red Bull can to decay.
Mars Chocolate Bar costs 40 and weighs 20 grams.
Takes a minimum of 10 years.
A disposable foam plastic cup weighs almost nothing. Costs nothing.
Takes a minimum of 50 years to decay.
Maggie, Bisleri, Lays. A minimum fifty year period we’re looking at for every single unit consumed of these items listed above. Here’s what the New Hampshire Environmental Services have to say about our obsession with all things plastic.
Who’s littering our trails?
Not the government certainly.The government can’t be blamed alone. There are truckloads of Bisleri-sipping, Maggie-savouring, Gatorade enthusiasts landing in the mountains every week. The pile is only going to grow unless you go purely organic (primitive that is) or learn to manage your garbage. For a state like Himachal, which is heavily debt ridden, ‘garbage management’ is surely going to be in the bottom of priority list of ‘to do’ things.
There’s door to door garbage collection system that works in rurban setups like Mandi, Shimla, Dharmshala but where does that garbage go once it leaves
our your doorstep?
It goes to a central dumping system where 9 out 10 times, garbage is burned or buried.
Unlike planned cities or towns, which we can easily count on our fingers in India, our villages don’t have proper garbage disposal systems. Usually, there is a pit by the roadside, where everybody dumps their garbage. That’s the model I have seen being adopted across Himachal.
The IT boom not only brought
tourists travelers people to mountains but it also brought packaged food to the remote valleys. Footfall increased manifolds giving rise to haphazardly rolled out tourism policy (sic) that provided loans for homestays and hotels but said nothing about garbage disposal. The ‘advanced concepts’ like recycling and segregation were totally out of question.
Now that there are more travel agents than the travelers, everybody is offering which not just looks different but is equally ridiculous. The cooling period that mountains needed in winters isn’t available anymore. There are winter treks, rainy treks, underwater expeditions, honeymoon packages, before-marriage packages, after divorce packages and what not. And nobody can stop people visiting any damn part of this country. Ours is a free country minus the responsibility part.
So the bottom line is, ” We have to learn to manage our garbage.” More so in the mountains where a weightless Maggie wrapper can wreak havoc. The footfall is going to increase, nobody can stop that. Blanket bans have served no good anyway. There has to be more and more information that talks about the after-effects of plastic in the context of Himalaya.
A Ray of Hope in Jibhi
Lalit, the wonder boy of Jibhi, shyly shared his proposal with me and I think this should be mass replicated by all the travel and tour agents across the state. Here are the details:
Jibhi Adventure is offering a FREE outdoor activity camp for three days for nature lovers/ travelers /explores in Jibhi area starting from June 30th -2nd July 2017. Any one interested in the camp will have to collect at least 5 kgs of segregated plastic wrappers collected in and around Jibhi -Jalori – Seryolsar Lake -Bahu areas and deposit it at our private dumping sight at Jibhi.
Whether this ‘offer’ will be continued post 2nd July or not is entirely dependent on the number of people that turn up during the said dates. Else, Lalit and his team has already collected 15-20 kg of plastic, which is massive going by the populace of that small region, and they are willing to push for more and more plastic.
Waste segregation is their next objective so that the reusable or biodegradable material can be appropriately managed. And if they’re able to achieve higher numbers, they are looking at shipping options to recycle the waste. So if you are around come join us. It is great fun to carry empty bottles and plastic wrappers.
Remember for every wrapper brought back, the forest and the lake lives twenty years longer.
Contact Lalit: 9816057101 | Jibhi Adventure On Facebook