To control pollution from garbage and unmanaged plastic waste, the Government of India has banned the production, import, storage, distribution, sale and use of single use plastic items with low utility and high waste disposal potential. All over the country.
The list of items banned from July 1 includes earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice cream sticks, thermocol for decoration, plastic plates, cups, glasses and cutlery. Such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays, wrapping or packing films around the sweet box, invitation cards, packs of cigarettes, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 microns, stirrers.
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The government is also taking steps to raise awareness for the elimination of single use plastics to address the issue of managing single use plastic products. Here are five student-led organizations that are on the path to zero waste:
1. Project Snow
Have you ever wondered if the disposable diapers your children wore in childhood were safe and eco-friendly? Disposable diapers have a layer of petroleum-based plastic that acts as a water resistant coating, consequently endangering the environment. To combat this problem, Project Sneha, run by Naman Utreja of Motilal Nehru College, has produced reusable cloth diapers at affordable rates.
“Our diapers are the perfect choice for babies and the environment. They are skin-friendly, reusable, easy to tune, eco-friendly,” he said.
CPSIA-certified diapers are suitable for children up to three years of age for a period of at least five months at a rate of Rs.
Following a cycle of ‘wash-wash-repeat’, these diapers help to inculcate basic hygiene habits in all walks of life across India.
Regarding the recent ban on single use items, Utraja said, “It will be of great help as we promote the reuse of products by bringing awareness to the society by bringing various options.”
2. Project easy
What do you do after drinking all the water from a plastic bottle? Ideally, throw it in the dumpster or use it for your next outing.
Project Sugam has been collecting single-use plastic bottles to make eco-bricks to build publicly accessible washrooms in Delhi. Led by Ishita Mahajan and Kriti Jain of Jesus & Mary College, Sugam has won the ‘People’s Choice Award’ at the Enactus World Cup, 2021 for this philanthropic endeavor.
Talking in detail about Sugam, Mahajan said, “We make eco-bricks to act as an ideal and reusable building block by packing single use plastic in plastic bottles. They are made entirely of recyclable plastic, which when combined with cement and mortar makes for a strong and flexible structure. “
Sugam has reduced 2531 kg of carbon dioxide emissions by collecting 1646 kg of unused plastics as compared to last year. Each structure will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1538 kilograms, Kriti Jain said.
In addition, in the long run, Sugam aims to diversify and use eco-bricks to manufacture other products such as dustbins and disability-friendly street furniture and to expand operations outside the Delhi NCR.
3. Project Tabeer
‘Tabir’ means ‘interpretation of a dream’. The motto of this project is to fulfill the dream of building a safe and sustainable future for the next generation. Directed by Manya Dodwani and Anmol Jagatiya of Satyavati College, Tabir produces betel nut cutlery as an alternative to plastic containers.
Areka is a tree found in the southern and eastern parts of India, which has medicinal properties used to treat glaucoma. “We use betel leaves in a machine to make betel nut cutlery. It is 100% chemical free, biodegradable, oven friendly and leak proof, ”said Dodwani.
In addition, the waste generated when making betel nut cutlery is used as animal fodder, making it a zero waste project.
4. Project Fate
“The importance of menstrual hygiene is considered paramount in the life of every menstruating woman. Our team believes in striving at all heights to make the world accessible with basic sanitary napkins, ”said Drishti Makhijani, founder of Project Kadira and a student at Bennett University in Greater Noida.
Project Kadira aims to provide a range of skin-friendly, reusable, affordable and environmentally friendly sanitary pads. “A disposable sanitary pad contains 90 percent plastic, which is harmful to the health of menstruating women and also contaminates soil, air and water when thrown away. Our pads are safe, reusable and pollution free, ”said Makhijani.
To expand its purpose of educating the masses, Project Kadira has maintained and curated 17+ monthly literacy, translations available in many languages (English, Hindi and other regional languages), approved by gynecologists and teachers.
Recently, Project Kadira, in collaboration with Enactus India, organized a menstrual and sex education campaign called Pehel, India’s largest youth. Artist Avanti Nagaral greeted the audience with music and songs and Dr. Anjali Kumar, a gynecologist, presented her views on the urgent need for menstrual literacy.
Kadira is currently working on a D2C brand called ‘Kadira Hygiene’.
5. Basera project
Personal protective equipment, commonly known as PPE, was welcomed during the coronavirus epidemic. However, we are only slightly aware of the dark reality of PPEs. PPEs have exacerbated the plastic crisis by contributing to the destruction of our environment.
Addressing this problem, Vanshika Bansal, a third-year student of Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies, has been collecting PPE scrap and turning it into multi-purpose mats and bags for the past two years. “During the Kovid-19, PPE waste was at a very high level, for which there is no disposable mechanism and we have a solution,” she said. Project Basera solves both urban homelessness and the management of plastic waste from textile / PPE scrap.
Explaining the details of the product, Bansal said, “Scrap collected from PPEs is upcycled in multipurpose mats and bags through a braiding process and sent to customers from the production site with the help of delivery partners.” In an effort to uplift the underprivileged community, Basera also provides employment to women in government shelters.
With the objective of making a difference in the lives of homeless women through this entrepreneurial work, Basera has organized awareness sessions, regular surveys, health camps, educational webinars, etc. for the deprived communities in the shelters.
After the government decided to ban plastics, Bansal said, “When we see the support of the government, it motivates us and emphasizes the problem we are solving. It’s time to dump her and move on. “
(The author is an intern at Indian Express Online)
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