Zeroing In On Waste - Led By Bhutan’s Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering


The ‘Zero Waste Hour - My Waste, My Responsibility’, was launched by Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen last month.

(Source: Facebook/National Environment Commission)


By Chimi Dema Kuensel

To observe ‘Zero Waste Hour’ in Bhutan, more than 150 individuals in collaboration with the National Environment Commission Secretariat (NECS) dedicated at least an hour to collect waste in Thimphu on 2nd July.

Led by the Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering, the officials and volunteers from government agencies, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and institutions cleaned the area around the Royal Takin Preserve in Motithang, the roadside leading to the Phajoding base camp and Sangaygang.

The team collected about six metric tonnes of waste. Most of the wastes comprised of plastic such as PET bottles, polyesters, tetra packs and packets. While the remaining chunk were mainly bottles, discarded clothes and shoes.


Photo: Facebook/National Environment Commission


The ‘Zero Waste Hour - My Waste, My Responsibility’, was launched by Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen last month.

Purpose of launching ‘Zero Waste Hour’ in Bhutan

The aim is to instil a behavioural change towards proper waste management and to encourage the practice of a sustainable consumption lifestyle.

It is also expected to eliminate the illegal dumping of waste and inculcate a sense of social responsibility towards managing individual waste in an environmentally sound manner.

By dedicating an hour on the second day of every month (through the involvement of offices and institutions), the National Environment Commission Secretariat aspires to achieve Bhutan’s vision of a Zero Waste Society by 2030.

 What some of the participants said

“It is a good initiative, my colleagues and I were encouraged to join the cleaning campaign,” said Gyeltshen Drukpa, the Chief Forest Officer at the Department of Forest and Park Services and national coordinator for waste management.

The manager of Changjiji Youth Center, Kinley Phub who brought about 30 youth volunteers, emphasised that the young generation should understand the importance of environmental protection and waste management in the country.

According to him, littering is usually predominant among youth and children and they should be inculcated a sense of social responsibility towards managing their own waste.


Source: Bhutan Swallowtail


Other volunteers felt that taking part in such an initiative will not only help in cleaning the area, it is also expected to create awareness about the issues of illegal dumping of waste and littering.

Future plans and activities

Moving forward, the ministries, dzongkhags (districts), thromdes, relevant agencies/institutions and communities will identify focal persons who will coordinate the programme and collect data.

The  implementing  bodies will  also carry  out  monitoring  and evaluation  activities  and  submit  reports  to Her  Majesty’s Secretariat annually.

The   Zero   Waste   Hour will be  observed  during  office  hours  and  all  offices,  institutions,  organisations,  and individuals  are  mandated  to clean  their  surroundings  so that Bhutan can fulfil its vision of a waste-free society.


This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.


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