In response to the Prime Minister’s request to make India free from single-use plastic, during the Swachhata Hi Seva 2019 campaign, all 1178 villages in 58 blocks of the northeastern state of Tripura participated in a campaign to manage plastic waste effectively.
The PM had said that in remembrance of Mahatma Gandhi people should collect single-use plastic from homes, streets, chowks, and drains; and Gram Panchayats were asked to make appropriate arrangements to collect single-use plastic.
According to State Consultant on Sanitation and Hygiene, Mr. Manojit Debnath, a door-to-door campaign was undertaken from 11th September to 1st October to spread the message on the need to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics.
Across the hilly state that is bordered on 3 sides by Bangladesh and home to a diverse mix of tribal cultures, people were made aware of the fatal effects of plastic pollution. They were informed that three great ways to eliminate waste and protect the environment were to reduce, reuse and recycle.
The campaign saw the active participation of various social organizations, clubs, schools, Anganwadi centres, ably led by Swachhagrahis.
The impact of the 3-week campaign was visible on October 2nd, a day of Shramdaan when everyone – from District, Block and Panchayat Officials to Swachhagrahis, AWC personnel, school children and the general public from all walks of life, came together and took a pledge to curb use of single use plastic.
Together, they made every effort to reduce the large volumes of menacing plastic waste from their neighborhoods. A whopping 27,546 kgs of plastic waste was collected from across the state and sent to KMC Construction Limited, a nominated agency of the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL), Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India. The NHIDCL will use the plastic waste to mix with asphalt for road construction.
Swachhata Hi Seva (SHS) 2019 focused on Plastic Waste Management, given the detrimental effect of uncollected plastic waste on human beings, animals and the environment at large. Across the country, from 3rd October till 27th October, collected plastic waste was effectively recycled and disposed. All Central and State Governments were encouraged to ban the use of Single Use Plastic (SUP) products during the campaign period.