Across the country, districts are working out modalities for plastic waste collection systems that would curb use of single use plastics (SUP) and at the same time reduce, reuse and recycle plastic items – to help cut down the amount of waste we send to landfills.
Take the example of the District Collector (DC) of Jagtial in Telangana who offered the public one kilogram of rice for 1 kilogram of plastic waste.
It was on 7th November 2019 that the DC, Dr. A Sharath Kumar began the initiative to manage plastic waste and curb the use of plastic in all villages and across the entire district. It started with the ban on single use plastics (SUPs). With waste being exchanged for rice, the operation was successful in gathering around 54 tons of plastic waste from the Gram Panchayats (GP) which incidentally also banned SUPs in their villages.
The initiative has triggered a wide range of support from individuals and Gram Panchayats who are carrying out innovative activities in support of the plastic waste management campaign.
Child volunteers in Ramaropalli collected 15 kgs of plastic waste and the rice which they received in exchange was donated to a poor, elderly man. Taking a step further, the children are also working on spreading awareness among the village communities about the harm caused by SUP.
On the other hand, Itikaiyal GP in Raikal Block has come forward in the same spirit to distribute 4800 jute bags to all families for banning use of plastic bags.
Meanwhile, Mallapur GP is providing steel plates and glasses for free at weddings and functions so that organisers of the events whether households or institutions would avoid using plastic plates, glasses and other dishes.
Another initiative under solid and liquid waste management is the promotion of pipe compost system among households to treat wet kitchen waste and covert the same into compost.
Inputs: Madhumitha, SBM consultant, Jagtial, Telangana