Of the total 62 million tonnes of waste that India generates, about 9 per cent (upto 56 lakh tonnes) account for plastic waste as per a report by Central Pollution Control Board. Believe it or not but India is one the world’s biggest plastic polluters as nearly 40 per cent of its plastic ends up either in landfills or water bodies. Concerned by the future repercussions that plastic waste can create, Swachh ambassador Dia Mirza last year along with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) pledged to make Mumbai’s Bandra’s H-West ward plastic free.
A year later, the usage of plastic has considerably come down in Bandra’s linking road, which happens to be an ‘iconic’ street for shopping, said Dia Mirza on the 12-hour Cleanathon organised as part of the NDTV-Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign. From requesting the vendors and hawkers to charge customers for plastic bags, looping several organisations and NGOs for making plastic alternatives, cloth bags to setting cloth collecting centres the actress and BMC are exploring innumerable ways to attain the plastic free goal.
Last year we took a pledge to make H-West ward plastic free, linking road being the priority. Serious amount of effort was put to implement it, we succeeded in some places and in some areas we failed, the actor
She further said that if Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has to succeed then a comprehensive waste management mechanism has to be in place, “the only way we can hope to become Swachh Bharat is if we create a better waste management system. A policy change needs to be brought about and a ban on single use plastic items.”
Awareness can play a key role in bring about a change in the choices we make as consumers, Dia believes and added, “Everyone who consumes plastic item is producing waste and we need to realise that everything we use and consume has to go somewhere. As citizens we need to start making better choices at managing waste at home. Awareness is needed not just in civil societies but also in the administration.”
Ever since the launch of Clean India Mission in 2014, the actor has been quite vocal in her support for addressing garbage crisis on priority basis. From being a part of the cleanup drive at Juhu beach post Ganapati Visarjan to launching ‘Waste Management On Wheels’ model, Dia Mirza has been spreading the Swachh message from time to time. The actress, last month implemented the principles of waste management in her own residential society, making it a zero waste society.