New Delhi: Earlier in October this year, India’s second cleanest city according to Central Government’s cleanliness survey, Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh, opened the door of a unique ‘garbage café’ where the poor and homeless are provided food free of cost in lieu of plastic waste deposited. Now, following the same footsteps, Kotpad Notified Area Council (NAC) in Koraput district of Odisha has started a similar initiative where poor people will be provided with cooked free meals in exchange for a kilogram of plastic waste. The meal in exchange for the plastic initiative in Odisha has been flagged off from Monday (October 28) under the State government’s ‘Aahar’ scheme.
Talking about the initiative, a senior official from Kotpad Notified Area Council added,
Each passing day, plastic waste is choking our planet and causing deaths of other living beings like birds and other animals. Plastic also poses serious health hazards for humans. In Odisha, this is a small step we have taken in a bid to protect our one and only planet.
In order to make people aware of the new initiative, the NAC administration has put up banners and posters at various places in Koraput.
Moreover, a special counter has also been set at the Aahar centre to keep a count of the plastic waste collected. According to the official, on Monday when the programme was kick-started around 10 kilograms of plastic waste was collected by the administration in exchange of 10 cooked meals comprising rice and dalma were given.
The NAC administration with this programme also aims to achieve the target of making its district free from plastic within a few weeks.
First, our aim is to go plastic-bag free and slowly we will target to make the whole Koraput district plastic-free. Apart from this initiative, we have allocated officials who will every day go door to door, cover different areas and help us sensitise people on why it is important for each one of us to give up using plastic, added Mr Sharma.
Odisha’s Fight Against Plastic
On October 2 as the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was celebrated, Odisha marked the occasion by imposing a ban on single-use plastic items such as polythene carry bags of any shape, thickness and size (excluding compostable), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles of less than 200 ml capacity in all urban areas of the state.
Recently, to fight single-use plastic waste and support the state’s ban, Ganjam district in Odisha introduced milk ATMs, wherein people pay and buy milk in their own containers instead of buying milk pouches.