Plastic for food- food for plastic

India is highly polluted and the major source of pollution is of course plastic. Plastic is one of the most dangerous pollutant of the world because it takes years to decompose and sometimes more than that.  Plastic pollution can afflict land, waterways and oceans. It is estimated that 1.1 to 8.8 million metric tons of plastic waste enters the ocean from coastal communities each year. As of 2018, about 380 million tons of plastic is produced worldwide each year. From the 1950s up to 2018, an estimated 6.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced worldwide. We can of course recycle it, but to what extend? Another major issue apart from pollution is HUNGER. Starvation is the second leading cause of death worldwide among children. India is currently home to a quarter of all undernourished people worldwide and many children die of it each year. It’s not that the country produce less food, it’s just that we don’t know how to manage it. We grow enough food to feed every citizen of the nation, but most it is wasted even before it leaves the fields and much after it. So basically the flaw lies in the management.

“The Garbage Cafe”

Researchers, communities and individuals are all trying their best finding ways to tackle these two issues and among all such idea’s Chhattisgarh Municipal Corporation has come up with a brilliant way of creating a better society. Ambikapur is a city with a population of just under two lakhs, located in Chattisgarh’s Surguja district, is all set to open a ‘Garbage Café’. Now it’s not a café that would offer creative plastic waste décor but will actually provide food in exchange of plastic. They would offer a complete meal in exchange of 1KG of plastic waste and on the exchange of 50 grams, one will be served with breakfast. The café was opened on 1st August 2019. By this scheme they can actually eradicate plastic pollution from the city completely and secondly can feed at least 100 homeless families with shelter and food. This year the city received 5 star rating of ‘Garbage Free Cities’. Under the Central government’s Swachh Survekshan 2019 rankings, Ambikapur was declared India’s second cleanest city of Indian apart from Indore and this initiative is a step forward towards the same goal. The Garbage Café has been allocated with 5 lakh of budget.

“In Ambikapur, under the solid waste management which is coming from Municipal Corporation, we have started a model on the same which was very successful after getting support from locals and others.”

Mayor of Ambikapur Ajay Tirkey in a report to ANI
Road made from recycled Plastic

Apart from this initiative, the city has many more schemes eradicating pollution completely. Like they have also build a street from solely plastic waste. They has executed 100% door to door waste collection and segregation. The waste is properly managed by composing and recycling. This way, 100 per cent of the waste generated by the city gets treated in the city itself. It has also emerged as city with most sanitary parks and even the residence of the city are also producing less waste especially the non-biodegradable. As per the feedback of the public, 98% of the citizens are satisfied with accessibility and cleanliness level of toilets and urinals in the city. It is a joint initiative of the state government, Municipal Corporation and the public, who together are creating a city which is clean, pure and safe to live. They are contributing their best in the PM Narendra Modi’s “Swatch Bharat Abhiyan”. From attaining 15th position in Swachh Survekshan 2017 to getting 2nd position in 2019, Ambikapur has proved that the hard work always pays off.

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