Nepal forms map of Dead Sea with nearly 100,000 plastic bags

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KATHMANDU, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- To spread the message on the importance of environment and to create the Guinness World Records, the largest sculpture of plastic bags has been created in Nepal on Wednesday.

The structure was made in the form of the map of the Dead Sea in Tundikhel in the central part of the capital city, under the theme " One Dead Sea is enough for us" with around 88,000 plastic bags.

The 20-meter-long and 5-meter-wide map of Dead Sea was formed under the auspice of the non-governmental organization STEM Foundation Nepal in coordination with the Department of Environment and various organizations.

According to the organizer, the event aims to raise awareness with the slogans "Let's not use more plastics and let's not convert our living sea into Dead Seas."

"We need to protect our rivers and natural resources from the increasing plastic pollution as plastics neither burn completely nor get absorbed by the soil. Thus, we organized this campaign to discourage the use of plastic bags and to raise awareness for the preservation of environment," Suman Giri, a member of STEM Foundation Nepal, told Xinhua.

According to Guinness World Records, the largest sculpture of plastic bags consists of 68,000 plastic bags in the shape of an octopus and it was made Singapore in 2012.

The event comes at a time when the Nepal government has been failing to ban plastic bags despite of repeated efforts. Plastic Bags Regulation and Control Directive-2016 restricts production, sale and use of plastic bags below 30 microns. However, it has not been implemented due to lack of cooperation from locals and shopkeepers.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Urban Development Mohammad Istiyak Rai pledged to work effectively for the reduction in use of plastic bags.

According to reports, more than 1 million plastic bags are used once and thrown away in Kathmandu Valley every day, and it now forms more than 11 percent of the waste.

The record-setting event was organized in a view to discourage the use of plastic bags. Thousands of people, especially school and college students, took part in the campaign.

The colorful plastic bags, which are generally used for carrying grocery items, were mostly collected from the students of around 100 schools and the major rivers like Bagmati, Bishnumati and Manahara.

Youth volunteers and students spent at least 8 hours in completing the sculpture.

Sangit Shrestha, a 18-year-old graduate student shared with Xinhua "Pollution has been increased in oceans, which has impacted the lives of birds and fishes. As Dead Sea lacks any living beings inside it, we should protect other seas and rivers from reaching them into the same state." Enditem

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