- The mural has been constructed from around 7,000 plastic bottle caps
- Green Society Forum volunteers collected caps from various sources
- The venture is backed by the Navi Mumbai civic body
The football fever has never reached a higher crescendo in India, as the FIFA U-17 World Cup kicked off from October 6. This is the first FIFA tournament to be held in India, and football fans around the country are ecstatic, and rightly so. Tickets have been sold out, as the whole country prepares for 22 days of football madness. Utilising the occasion of the World Cup to make people more aware of the problems of urban waste management, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation, in association with the Green Society Forum, has created a mural from 7,000 plastic bottle caps to give a message about the importance of waste management and recycling.
Green Society Forum, which has been instrumental in coming up with the initiative, has worked extensively in the field of waste management, drought management and improving urban ecological infrastructure. The organisation looks to continuously create environmental consciousness among the public through art installations, as it believes that exposure to art and sculpture can shape and change people’s views on environmental issues. The organisation comprises artists and sculptors and a common concern for the environment brought them together.
We have always been concerned towards the environment and what it goes through. Our busy schedules in daily lives keep us from contributing towards the cause of environment. Our aim through our work has been to create the concern for environment among people, said Jaspal Singh Naol, Social Initiative Director, Green Society Forum.
While plastic bottles may still end up in recycling plants, even if in low numbers, the fate of plastic bottle caps is even worse. Caps are seldom taken to recycling plants and are either thrown away casually on roadsides, or disposed in landfills along with other waste, often to be consumed by grazing animals. The fate of plastic bottle caps which do not end up getting recycled was what prompted the forum to think of utilising it in a creative manner.
Collecting enough plastic caps though, was never easy and the forum members had quite a tough time gathering enough caps for the mural. Members from the forum asked for discarded plastic bottle caps from friends and family members and when even that turned out not to be enough, they visited small shopkeepers, waste sellers and dumping grounds to collect as many plastic bottle caps as they could.
We got caps from a number of sources, from close friends to kabadiwalas. We used caps from approximately 7,000 plastic bottles to complete the installation, said Mr Naol.
The cap collection process took around five to seven days, post which the forum completed the mural installation within 10 days. The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation’s support for the mural installation has been extensive and the forum was adequately helped by the municipal corporation. The forum received appreciation from some of the highest officials in the municipal corporation, who praised the forum’s effort to create consciousness on environmental and waste issues, among the general public. The structure has been placed opposite the municipal corporation headquarters on Palm Beach road.
We have always encouraged smart art which inspires people to take up the concerns related to waste management more seriously. We have a vision of transforming Navi Mumbai into a zero-waste and eco-friendly city and such constructions will only aid our efforts,” said Tushar Pawar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Solid Waste Department, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation.
The forum is confident that the mural, along with the festive football spirit in the city will make people more aware of the growing problem of waste in India. Mr Jaspal is confident that during the busy festivities of the tournament, when people come across such artwork in the city premises, they will look and think twice about the implications of indiscriminate waste disposal and what could be done to better the situation.