Meghalaya Govt Signs Deal with Cement Maker to Turn Plastic Waste into Fuel
The initiative is part of the state government’s ‘Plastic Challenge’, organised in different villages with a view to encourage effective plastic waste management among people.
Conrad Sangma (Image: PTI).
Guwahati: The Meghalaya government inked an environment-friendly deal with a cement company, Dalmia Cement, to help make the state plastic-free by 2022. Dalmia, along with one of Northeast’s cement brand, Topcem Cement, decided to buy plastic waste to be used as fuel, instead of coal.
“Topcem and Dalmia cement plants have embarked on the initiative to turn plastic waste into fuel for their cement plants and at the same time ensure that all the environmental standards are maintained,” announced Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Wednesday, during an official programme in Shillong to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Chief Minister said the State Pollution Control Board will be monitoring the ambient air quality after the plastic is burned so that no harmful emissions take place.
The initiative is part of the state government’s ‘Plastic Challenge’, organised in different villages with a view to encourage effective plastic waste management among people through the involvement of local organisations and tribal bodies. The Chief Minister said the government is looking into different modes of plastic recycling - recovering the waste or scrap plastic and reprocessing it into operational or useful products without causing pollution.
17 tonnes of plastic waste was collected from across the state by village-level volunteers and rag pickers. The waste was recovered by a scrap dealer engaged by the Swachh Bharat Mission office. As per the agreement, the cement firm will pay Rs 30 per kg to the scrap dealer for collecting the plastic waste.
Chief Minister Sangma also highlighted the different programmes taken up by the government in the past few months for a cleaner and plastic-free state as Meghalaya is scheduled to host the National Games in 2022.
A ‘Road to Change’ campaign has been launched by the government to build roads using an eco-friendly process. Meghalaya has already built its first plastic road in Nongstoin town in 2018, and another one was made in Tura this year.
“It is not that the administration is doing all this alone. People are doing it, NGOs are doing it. This has become a campaign,” said Ram Singh, Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills.
To build the road in Tura, community volunteers were sent on a door-to-door purchase of plastic waste. Scrap plastic was recovered from the Rongkhon Songital dumping ground after a process of Segregation, Washing, Drying and Shredding. The plastic waste was then converted into a mixture that was added to the Bitumen used for road construction.
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