Look around, and one lazy scan around is all it would take for you to understand how deep an invasion plastic has made on our lives. From the cutlery to the comb that we use, plastic has successfully sneaked its way into the very depth of our existence without ever raising an alarm.
Hence we need to understand that India's plastic problem didn't just surface overnight. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India happens to generate 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste every single day.
That's equal to 86 Boeing 747 jets! Now, let that sink in.
According to a 2015 CPCB study, 60 major Indian cities were estimated to be generating almost 4,059 tonnes of plastic waste daily, with the national capital topping the list with 690 tonnes of daily plastic waste, followed by Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.
Now, while the metropolitan cities are failing the cause of India's war against plastic, four small cities are leading the fight against plastic waste, and there's a lesson to be learnt there.1. Alappuzha & Ernakulam
The Kerala government is really doing its bit to fight the menace called plastic waste. Apart from their strict “Green Protocol” introduced in 2017, the government has applied innovative incentives for couples who hold plastic free weddings and the likes.
Multiple tourist spots and busy districts such as Fort Kochi, Munnar, Wayanad, Bekal, Alappuzha and others aim to go 100 percent plastic free by the end of this year!2. Ambikapur
The second cleanest city in India, Ambikapur is another front-runner in this cause that is known for its Garbage Cafe, that not only works to rid the city of plastic waste but also raises awareness, feeds the needy and provides livelihood to women.
For every kilo of plastic waste, the cafe offers a complete thali. Run by women, it feeds numerous ragpickers and homeless people on a daily basis. The initiative gained tremendous popularity and support online, and is doing a wonderful job in the fight against plastic waste.3. Gangtok
Gangtok's fight against plastic is more than two decades old. The city banned disposable plastic in 1998, and three years ago, Sikkim banned the use of packaged drinking water in government offices and events.
Use of products made from plastic polymer such as thermocol and styrofoam was also banned by the state government. The next thing the state plans to do away with is the use of plastic bottles.4. Indore
Up until early 2019, Indore was suffocating under its own plastic waste weight. However, things changed once the local municipality decided to take matters into their own hands, and introduced plastic collection centres that reuse and recycle the collected plastic waste.
Dhani Ram Dubey, zonal in-charge at Indore Municipal Corporation told HT, “We have tied up with an NGO named 'Sarthak' to come up with ways to recycle plastic waste. Along with the PCCs, we have installed machines called 'plastic phatka machines', that are used to cleanse contaminated plastic for recycling.”
Reportedly, close to 45,000 kg of plastic is recycled everyday in the city.
Isn't that amazing?