Indian village wages war against plastic

Posted by Imogen Searra on 23 October 2019

The village of Lachung, in the northeastern state of Sikkim in India, is waging war on single-use plastics. The tiny village has banned the hazardous material entirely, and officials in the village are going as far as to stage roadblocks to conduct searches for plastic bottles and other single-use-plastic items.

The people of Lachung are very connected with nature, and the village residents believe they share a deep appreciation for nature – including their mountains, rivers, lakes and waterfalls.

In the fight against plastic, Lachung residents are pioneering the way to reduce their plastic consumption entirely. The village is also suggesting eco-friendly, sustainable alternatives.

 

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Speaking to BBC News a resident of the village, Thupden Lachungpa, said: ‘Lachung is so beautiful that it attracts a huge amount of tourists. When we talk about a huge number of tourists, we also talk about a huge number of plastics. Single-use plastics.’

After noticing an increase in rubbish, a meeting was held with the village elders to discuss a way to combat the plastic pollution. This is when the law to ban the use of single-use plastics was introduced.

‘If we wanted to change, we had to change right from our household,’ Lachungpa told the BBC.

The alternatives to single-use plastics are mainly to use bamboo materials. Water bottles, shopping baskets and bowls have all been crafted from bamboo. Kitchen items, like grinders, have been carved from stone. Plastics that are confiscated are repurposed.

The holistic approach to living a sustainable life in Lachung takes the future generations into account. ‘I think our coming generation also deserve[s] a clean environment,’ Lachungpa said.

There’s a lot to be learnt from the village of Lachung, whose people strive to live eco-conscious and sustainable lives.

 

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