Increased use of bottled water pollutes Pokhara

Himalayan News Service

Pokhara, June 10:

The increase in consumption of bottled water in Pokhara has created a problem of proper disposal of pet bottles resulting in pollution of the picturesque valley. Thousands of litres of bottled mineral water is consumed everyday in the Pokhara valley and as many as 120,000 pet bottles, which are not recyclable or reusable, are disposed in an unsafe manner in a month. Shyam Shrestha, dealer of Aqua Mineral Water and managing director of Kaji Stores, said that the mineral water is bottled in pet bottles which are not reusable, thus they must be properly disposed.

Managing director of the Today Mineral Water, being operated in Pokhara itself, Kiran Lal Shrestha said that it is impossible to recycle such pet bottles in Nepal. Moreover the lax law has provided chance for the industries bottling water to use cheap quality plastic bottles for the purpose. Experts believe industrialists are taking advantage of unclear government policies. Keshav Adhikary of Clean Environment Pvt Ltd says consumers throw the bottles carelessly and that no rag pickers pick them up because they do not have any resale value. "We tried to collect such bottles but what is the use of collecting something which we cannot use?" he asked. Ex-chairman of the Pokhara Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ananda Raj Mulmi said that the government was not using the tax collected from the industries for environment conservation. "In foreign countries, the products are packaged in reusable materials but the situation is different here. Government must see into this and act promptly," Mulmi added.