Solving the problem of plastic bags contamination in Himalayas, India.

The pilgrimage to the High Himalaya’s shrines (Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath), in Uttarakhand region, attracts millions of people every year during summer time, mainly because the access to these sites has improved in recent years. The downside of this is the strong environmental impact of this huge influx of people on the delicate mountain ecosystem of the Himalayas. Environmental organizations worry about the pollution caused by plastic bags that pilgrims used to carry their prasadam.

AAGAAS Federation, an environmental organization and Earth Charter Affiliate from Uttarakhand, came up with an interesting program to deal with this problem. They are promoting the use of bamboo baskets made by local artisans, with locally grown bamboo. In this sense, they are not only reducing the plastic bags threat to the environment, but are also offering alternative employment to local people, who have long tradition of weaving bamboo. J.P. Maithani, Chairperson of AAGAAS Federation, affirms that this program is a practical way for them to put the Earth Charter principles into action.

For more information, visit AAGAAS website: www.aagaas.org