The last century has been a time of unprecedented growth and prosperity. However these advancements have come at a price, including significant strain on the world’s biodiversity, natural environment and human health.
Plastic being a major catalyser in enabling our modern life, impacts of plastic mismanagement paint an unequivocally toxic picture. Ban of single use plastic in India raised another question on single use plastics such as packaging material of food or any other product. Some incinerate it in open environment whereas others throw it to be eaten by stray animals or it easily makes its way to rivers via drains to expand plastic island in ocean called “GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH (GPGP)”.
A series of discussions on plastic pollution with student in different camps helped us realise our behaviour towards the waste we generate. We mix our waste, voiding its chance to be recycled. This is exact scenario with specially single use plastic in our community today. Ragpickers collect only metals and plastic with bigger mass. As soiled single use plastic is expensive, time consuming and unhealthy to clean and then recycle.
A choice to throw our waste in ecological intelligent way where it can be easily picked up for recycling and join the cycle of sustainable growth. Students at Tarumitra have decided to stack all single use plastic in PET bottles to keep it segregated from rest of the waste.
This idea to segregate single use plastic from rest of our waste will not clog the drain, bar it from going to rivers, oceans. Prevent animals from eating them. It can be then easily picked up by informal ragpickers for recycling and additional income as plastic stuffed in bottles would not mix up with other waste and would be clean enough.
So far we have collected nearly 6000 bottles each containing nearly 250 grams of single use plastic and gave it to local recycler. Some schools have made artificial structures in their campuses. Imprisoning Plastic campaign have saved nearly 1800 kilograms of single use plastic from polluting our environment and degrading our ecological diversity.
Big numbers too are achievable only if we are able to incubate such ecological intelligent behavior among youth when they are most receptive.
For more information on our campaigns on plastic waste management log on to https://footprint.org.in