Under the Mission Plastic Free Khammam, the district administration of Khammam in Telangana had formed a SParKs team (Soldiers against Plastics around Kamman) along with a district wide ban of single use plastics (SUP) less than 50 microns. Their aim was to considerably reduce the 30,000 tons of plastic waste generated per annum in the district.
The objective of the campaign inaugurated in September 2019 was for people to say NO to plastic bags, bottles, disposable plates, cups and spoons and also straws. Mission Plastic Free awareness vehicle, pamphlets and brochures were released the same day while officials were instructed to create awareness among people on SUP ban across the entire district.
In addition, the district administration announced a competition to make plastic free – the GP office by Deepawali; the whole GP by October end; the whole Khamman district by 26th January 2020; the Mandal Parishad Development Office (MPDO) by Deepawali, and the entire Mandal (Block) by 14th November, 2019.
Requirements of the competition:
- A cloth banner or wall painting should be made and fixed outside the office, village or mandal stating, “You are entering a plastic-free zone – plastic carry bags, bottles and disposable items such as straws are not allowed inside.”
- Plastic collection unit should be available outside the plastic free zone for depositing of plastics before entering the premises.
- Use of plastic bottles or SUPs inside office, village or mandal is not permitted for functions, parties or any other purpose
- All officials are to carry their own reusable bottles, cloth or jute bags
- Plastic litter inside or outside the office or village is not permitted. All officials are to join the SParKs team and take the pledge
- Shops located inside the office complex are not permitted to use plastic carry bags, straws, disposable cups, plates or spoons and plastic bottles
- Usage of eco-friendly options such as copper cups, banana leaves or ishthri aakulu, kunda water, etc will get bonus marks
- Usage of plastic items or thermocol for decoration purposes is not permitted
- Usage of Plastic flex inside office campus is not permitted
- Before and after photos of the office should be maintained
- Marks will be based on who meets the set parameters first and bonus points would be given to those who promote greenery and plantations inside their premises.
Awardees would be given Certificates of Appreciation for excellent performance towards eliminating Plastics. The winning office campus will be declared as the First ever Plastic-free office of Khammam District.
SParKs Pledge: This pledge was to be administered to all: “We the citizens of Khamman do hereby solemnly pledge that we will protect our mother Earth from the damages of plastics. We will not use plastics in our personal or professional lives; we will say NO to plastic bags and bottles; we will say NO to plastic plates and cups; we will say NO to plastic spoons and straws; we will make Khamman a clean, green and plastic free district.”
Other awareness building activities: Awareness walk, cycling rally, personal letter from District Collector to 1.2 lakh school and college students; observance of ‘No Carry Bag Day’, SUP Ban awareness during festivals, Maha shramdan on Gandhi Jayanthi; setting up of plastic collection centres; government offices declared as plastic free zones; painting and essay writing competitions at schools, inter-school recycling competitions; jute bag distribution; plastic free marriages, swachhata raths; and distribution of IEC material marked the campaign.