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Along with the rest of the World, State capital Kohima, celebrated 'World Environment Day' on June 5th 2018 at NBCC Convention Centre under the theme " Beat Plastic Pollution"(If you can't Reuse it, Refuse it), organized by the Department of Environment, Forests & Climate  Change.

Promising to launch a campaign for Clean & Green Nagaland within three months Rio said that the government is committed to planting trees for a Green Nagaland and called upon the youth and the people of the State to join this campaign and plant more trees for a Greener Nagaland. He said that the dream of a Clean and Green Nagaland will be a reality only with active participation of everyone.

Also commenting on the theme for 2018 ‘beating plastic pollution’ Rio said Plastic Pollution is one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time and it requires action from all of us. The challenge before all of us, he said, is to consider what changes we can make in our everyday lives to reduce the burden of plastic pollution on our environment, our biodiversity and our own health.

Plastics have become a municipal waste nightmare, prompting local governments all over the world to implement ban on use of plastic bags and he stated that Countries like Bangladesh, France and Rwanda have duly banned plastic bags. World Environment Day provides an opportunity for each of us to adopt many lifestyle changes that can help combat plastic pollution and we need to act actively and participate willingly to combat this challenge and save our fragile environment.

Plastic has become a menace in Nagaland too, especially in Kohima, Dimapur and district headquarters which leads to choking of drains and gutters that causes flooding as well as makes it a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, he remarked.

Kohima Municipal Corporation is implementing the Plastic Waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2011 under The Environment Protection Act, 1986, however he said there is need to improve awareness as well as enforcement of the act while urging all to stop using plastic bags and instead take reusable cloth bags for shopping.

Rio suggested that plastic plates and cutlery used in functions and events can easily be replaced with bamboo products which are not only environment friendly but will also give a push to the Bamboo based economy and further called on everyone to resolve to commit oneself for a Plastic Free Nagaland by banning the use of plastic in the State within 6 months. Concluding his speech he said that together we can make a difference in reducing the use of plastics and contribute in protecting the environment and a better tomorrow.