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Keeping plastic off the streets in Myanmar

ucanews.com reporter, Mandalay

ucanews.com reporter, Mandalay

Updated: September 10, 2010 08:14 AM GMT
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Young people collect polythene bags around Mandalay Hill
Young people collect polythene bags around Mandalay Hill
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Young people from several faiths in Mandalay are trying to promote greater environmental awareness by conducting monthly polythene bag collection drives. About 150 Christian, Muslim and Buddhist volunteers are taking to Mandalay’s streets and public places each month to try and combat a growing litter and environmental problem caused by discarded plastic bags. Thin plastic bags are widely given out by stores, restaurants and in markets to their customers and to pack rubbish as part of their daily garbage. Instead of disposing with the used bags properly, people habitually discard them outside their homes, in the street or in the countryside. “These bags are unsightly and have a negative impact on the environment,” said Kyaw Thu Aung who has joined three collection drives since they started in January. “When they are trodden into the ground they badly affect the richness of the soil so that plants will not grow well,” he said. The drives are coordinated by the local YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) which distributes drinking water, gloves and container to put the discarded bags in. “We managed to bring individuals and members of different religious organizations together to try and create a healthier and greener environment,” U Soe Hla from YMCA Mandalay told ucanews.com. “By making these collections, people will start to realize what a scourge these bags are do more to protect the environment,” said U Thwe Soe, a Buddhist volunteer. “We also intend to conduct awareness seminars in the future,” he added. The municipal body known as the Mandalay City Development Committee  has already taken action. It imposed a total ban on the use of polythene bags and announced a polythene-bag free zone since June 2009. Related reports Archdiocese campaigns against plastic Plastic recycling project helps poor Catholic bookstore campaigns against use of plastic bags MY11155.1618

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