Sikkim Bans Plastic Mineral Water Bottles & Foam Containers: First Indian State To Do So

Sikkim may not have a burgeoning food delivery startups scene or a throbbing pub culture, but that doesn’t stop the state from taking all measures to go eco friendly. Sikkim, which is touted to be the cleanest state in India, has taken another step to reduce its carbon footprint.

For effective waste management in an eco-friendly manner, the Sikkim government has restricted the use of mineral water bottles in government programmes and banned the use of foam food containers all over the state. The foam containers are usually used to serve momos and other street food by the roadside vendors.

image: OfficeChai

The government has said there has been rampant use of packaged drinking water during departmental meetings and functions which is creating a huge piles of garbage that adds to the burden of the landfill.

“Therefore, in order to reduce creation of garbage in the form of used drinking water plastic bottles it is notified that the packaged drinking water bottles may not be used during any government meetings or functions,” said the order signed by Chief Secretary Alok K Shrivastava.

It suggested that as an alternative, departments can use filtered water or water from large reusable water dispensers or reusabale water bottles in government functions.

In another notification, the Chief secretary said that the government has been initiating various measures to manage the waste and maintain a clean environment but it has been found that a lot of disposable foam containers are being rampantly used not only in the bazar areas but also in the rural pockets.

It said a huge quantity of municipal waste is created in the form of disposable products which are environmentally hazardous and occupy a huge space in the landfill.

The order banned the use and sale of disposable items such as cups, plates, spoons, containers, etc made from foam throughout the state with immediate effect.

“We were the first to ban the use of plastic bags. This is in tune with the same ideology that we have been following on protecting the environment. In the mountains tourists end up dumping the plastic waste which is hazardous so we took this step,” Rai told PTI.

The Karnataka government recently banned the use of plastic bags, but plastic waste in forms of food packaging and mineral water bottles still remains a concern in the state, as well as elsewhere. Hopefully, the northeastern state of Sikkim will lead the way for other states to follow.