TOPICS: Re-use, do not litter

Have you ever had a look on the heaps of garbage all around you? If so, then you might have found more plastic bags littering there. Although the production of these bags does not date back to the very beginning of human civilization, the trend of using them is not a new fashioned one. Because, as compared to the past decades, they have become a part of human life, and today most people around the world do not use anything else while shopping.

A reason against plastic bags is that the discarded ones litter our towns and countryside. They hang around in the environment for decades. Moreover, they can also have a devastating effect on both wildlife and sea creatures. They destroy the natural habitants of many creatures, and eventually lead them into death. The Planet Ark Environmental Foundation in Sydney, Australia, estimates that tens of thousands of whales, seals, turtles and birds are killed every year from plastic bag litter.

Therefore, plastic bags litter has really become a great problem in our cities and that must be stopped. Indeed, the trend of littering them not only ruins the beauty of our cities but also shows how uncivilized we are. Because of such ill-trend, here in Kathmandu, the sides of the rivers namely Bagmati, Bishnumati, and Tukucha are found covered with them. Consequently, chances are very slim that the government will be able to attract many tourists in Nepal Tourism Year 2011. Obviously, after they have been carried home, they can be re-used. But people in our cities are lazy when it comes to recycling and opt to throw them away instead of separating out them to be re-used. For this, at the individual level, we must develop the habit of recycling them for other purposes. And the government must also institute some strong rules and regulations against littering them in public.

Lastly, we must conceive the fact that the environment is not to be affected by it. And we need to promise not only to re-use them, but also to throw them only at their intended collection sites. At the same time, it is to be hoped that our government and green campaigners will come together and commit a viable strategy for their proper management which will allow our future generations to enjoy the natural beauty and clean environment of our country.