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Travellers Note: Sikkim Bans Packaged Mineral Water

Travellers Note: Sikkim Bans Packaged Mineral Water
Plastic water bottles are only the tip of the iceberg, plastic pollution can be found in many forms , Photo Credit: Nisa Pao / Shutterstock

To reduce the use of plastics in the state and protect its environment, Sikkim urges the use of natural drinking water by banning packaged drinking water in the state. The ban will be effective from January 1, 2022

Uttara Gangopadhyay
October 04 , 2021
02 Min Read

Sikkim, which is said to be India’s only 100 percent ‘organic’ state, has moved one step further to protect its fragile ecology and environment.

Starting next year, there will be a state-wide ban on the use and sale of packaged mineral water. Travellers entering the state will not be allowed to carry the bottles with them.

In 2016, the Sikkim government had decided not to provide packaged drinking water in government offices and at official functions. It also banned the use of disposable cutlery and plates made of Styrofoam and thermocol.

According to media reports, the ban to be implemented from January 1, 2022, was declared by chief minister PS Tamang during the Gandhi Jayanti celebrations on October 2 in Gangtok.

The three-month buffer has been provided so that stocks in the state can be exhausted, the media quoted him as saying.

While the state-wide ban was announced recently, Lachen, one of the popular destinations in north Sikkim, had introduced the ban a few years back. Instead of plastic bottles, visitors and others were encouraged to use bottles made of bamboo.

Way back in 1998, Sikkim had banned the use of plastic disposable (carry) bags across the state.  

In 2003, Sikkim stopped imports of chemical fertilizers and encouraged the use of traditional organic manure, according to reports. It thus became the first Indian state to officially announce adoption of organic farming to ensure long term sustenance of soil fertility, protection of environment and ecology, healthy living and decreasing the risk of health ailments, according to reports.  

In 2018, Sikkim won the Future Policy Award, often called the ‘Oscar for best policies’, co-organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Future Council (WFC) and IFOAM – Organics International. Sikkim won the award for its promotion of agro-ecological and sustainable food systems.

Travellers to Gangtok often visit Lal Bazar to buy clothing and accessories, Next time you are there, do take a look at the produce shops selling organically grown fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.

READ: Secret Gangtok: 5 Things That No One Will Tell You About


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Omu CJ October 05 , 2021

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