Kohima: In a unique community-based initiative, the people of Nagaland’s Mopungchuket village have agreed and resolved to ban the use of single-use plastic bags from May 1.

On March 10, 2019, Aotemolung Medemsanger Putu Menden, a local council, called for a public meeting wherein the Youth Ministry of the Baptist Church proposed to, among other agendas, ban single-use plastic bags in the village. The villagers agreed to it and resolved to ban all single-use plastic bags, effective from May onwards.

Situated in Mokokchung district of Nagaland, Mopungchuket is said to be the cleanest village among the Ao villages of Nagaland. It is a tourist hot spot famous among nature and history lovers.

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Although the state implemented a formal ban on all single-use plastic items less than 50 microns, especially plastic bags and cutlery, and Styrofoam and thermocol disposable plates from December last year, the community-based ban is likely to gain larger acceptance in the village.

The first formal dialogue on the idea of banning single-use plastic bags, Styrofoam and thermocol was made during a workshop in the village organised by the Mopungchuket Community Tourism Society way back in 2013.

Four years later, in 2017, the Youth Ministry of Mopungchuket Baptist Church in commemoration of its centenary (1917-2017) resolved to initiate the ‘plastic-free Mopungchuket project’.

The Nagaland government has recently declared Mopungchuket as a model village for “compliant of Solid Waste Management Rules 2016”.

A volunteer cleaning the drains in Mopungchuket village in Nagaland

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