Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir authorities are starting community engagement and stakeholder consultations for establishment of a plastic bank aimed at eliminating plastic footprint at picturesque tourist destinations by involving local youths, a senior official said here on Monday.
“The concept of ‘J&K Plastic Bank’ is rooted in the widespread reporting of plastic waste being left by visitors at various tourist destinations which is a severe threat for the local ecology and environment,” Chief Executive Officer of Mission Youth Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said.
He said the plastic bank will begin with the selection of a voluntary group of minimum 10 youths who will be imparted skill training.
“The group will be engaged with local law enforcement authorities for implementation of ban on plastic and polythene usage in such areas,” Choudhary said.
Under the scheme, infrastructure will be developed and made available to the groups for recycling of plastic waste into various products for which market linkages will be provided, he said.
The scheme also envisages making available infrastructure for eco-friendly packaging products. This model will also provide income-generation avenues to the youth apart from conservation of local environment, ecology and natural resources, he added.
The chief executive officer said the groups will be graded on “plastic score” based on their performance for various incentives.
The scheme will be implemented at 50 tourist destinations in two phases. It will be expanded later to more destinations, he said.
Mission Youth is engaging with various organisations for capacity building of the youth and staff members of various organisations in these areas apart from focusing on public awareness about ill-effects of plastic waste, he said.
Apart from the infrastructure development, Mission Youth will also support linkages with financial institutions, he said.
The Governing Body of Mission Youth chaired by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha had earlier approved a number of projects and schemes which are under active roll-out.
Choudhary said that in line with the decision, a number of schemes are being planned to engage youth clubs in various sectors, including public welfare, education, health, disaster management, sports and skill development.
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