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Imphal: Manipur forest and environment minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh on Friday said that plastic pollution has become one of the key environmental concerns globally and a lot of Northeast states are grappling with the issue. Introducing an academic syllabus on waste management at the primary school level would be a step forward in tackling the issue, he added.

The minister also said that early introduction of the issue at the grassroots level will help in spreading awareness as well as in environmental conservation.

The minister was speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural function of the two-day workshop on ‘Capacity Building Programme on Six Management Rules, 2016’ at the City Convention Centre in Imphal. The event is organised by the National Productivity Council (NPC) in collaboration with the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEFCC) and Manipur urban development agency (MUDA) and hosted by the directorate of MAHUD.

A plant sapling being given to forest and environment minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh at the inaugural function of the two-day workshop on ‘Capacity Building Programme on Six Management Rules, 2016’ in Imphal on Friday

The main objective of the workshop, according to the organisers, is to sensitise all the stakeholders, including citizens, government and private agencies on the six waste management rules notified by the MoEFCC. The six rules are — Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016; E-waste Management Rules, 2016; Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016; Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016; Construction and Demolition Rules, 2016 and Hazardous and Other Wastes (Movement and Trans-boundary Movement) Rules, 2016.

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Imphal has been selected as one of the 100 cities under the programme and the two-day programme will enable various stakeholders to implement the waste management rules and in performing duties towards achieving the goals of Swachh Bharat Mission, it said.

“Solid waste has become a huge challenge and plastic has become an even bigger challenge. In any function, you can see so much of waste plastic and it is choking the rivers and for that matter, even land in Manipur. So, I think it’s a wonderful opportunity where all the stakeholders are working together on different issues concerning waste management and we will discuss on how to bring progress in Manipur on the subject,” said Swati Singh Sambyal, program head for Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi.

Around 300 stakeholders from across the state took part in the inaugural function, whereas various stalls displaying products made from recycled plastics, tyres and other materials enthralled the crowd.

In line with capacity-building and eco-friendly environment, file cover and pencil made from recycled paper were distributed to the participants.

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