SRINAGAR: Mission Youth, J&K is starting community engagement and stakeholders consultations for establishment of “J&K Plastic Bank” aimed at eliminating plastic footprint at picturesque tourist destinations by involving local youth and empowering them to create sustainable environment free of plastic. The project provides alternate solutions, recycling support, market linkages, finance and development of infrastructure for green tourism.
The Governing Body of Mission Youth chaired by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha earlier approved a number of projects and schemes which are under active roll-out. In continuation to efforts aimed at empowering youth the organisations has included the innovative step of “J&K Plastic Bank” which will have pan-J&K network of empowered youth supported and equipped for environmental conservation and offering sustainable models. Preference will be given to members of the recently constituted Youth Clubs and the youth registered on Youth Portal launched by the Mission Youth last month.
Chief Executive Officer, Mission Youth, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary informed that during the launch of Youth Clubs Programme on 15 August 2021 the Chairman, Governing Body Mission Youth ( Lt Governor J&K) announced constructive engagement of youth through these clubs and their empowerment, in line with the decision a number of schemes are being planned to engage Youth Clubs including in sectors like public welfare, education, health, disaster management, sports and skill development etc. 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.
J&K Plastic Bank will begin with selection of a voluntary group of youth, minimum 10, their training, skilling and capacity building. The group will be engaged with local law enforcement authorities for implementation of ban on plastic and polythene usage in such areas. Under the scheme infrastructure will be developed and made available to the youth groups for recycling of the plastic waste into various products for which market linkages will be provided.
The scheme also envisages making available infrastructure for eco-friendly packaging products. This model will also provide income-generation avenues to local youth apart from conservation of local environment, ecology and natural resources. The youth 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, to begin with and later to be expanded to more destinations. Mission Youth is engaging with various organisations for capacity building of youth and staff of various organisations in these areas apart from focus on public awareness about ill effects of plastic waste. Apart from the infrastructure development, Mission Youth will also support linkages with financial institutions.