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Monday, January 24, 2011

shopping bags go green

After more than 10 years of banning the use of plastic bags which failed due to limited alternatives in the market, RSPN has taken the initiative to introduce eco-friendly bags

Eco-friendly shopping bags made of jute and cotton are now introduced in the market. The Environment Education Officer of the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN), Dago Tshering said that 8,000 (4,000 jute and 4,000 cotton) eco-friendly bags were provided to a youth organization, Happy Green Design which will promote the bags.
“It is high time that we introduce eco-friendly bags in our market,” he said.
These bags according to him will be available in the centenary farmers market where the promoters will sell it at Nu 35 for a jute bag and Nu 20 for a cotton bag.
The money generated from the sale of the bags will be invested in designing different types of eco-friendly bags.
He added that the ban of plastic carry bags was not successful because there were very few alternatives.
“The introduction of eco-friendly bags will provide consumers with an alternative rather than use plastic carry bags,” said Dago Tshering.
Compared to the plastic bags, the eco-friendly bags are durable, handy and washable.
The introduction of these bags is a part of the Clean Bhutan Program which aims to improve the state of environment through establishing an integrated and sustainable solid waste management system and raising awareness of the people in both rural and urban areas of Bhutan.
“The eco-friendly bag is one of the initiatives under an objective to develop waste management alternatives through research,” said Dago Tshering.
According to the Clean Bhutan project, the state of environment in Bhutan’s rural and urban settlements has deteriorated over the years drawing special attention to the issue of solid waste which poses serious threats to public health and hygiene due to contamination of air, water and soil.
The management of solid waste is one of the conspicuous issues arising either due to insufficient infrastructure planning or municipal facilities and services in most parts of the country.
This problem is compounded by a high rate of population growth in urban areas. At this rate, the issue of solid waste management and associated environmental and social problems will be more pronounced in the absence of a proper solid waste management system.
Plastic bags are harmful to the environment as the decomposition process for these bags usually takes a hundred years or more. These plastic bags usually end up being thrown into rivers.

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