- The bottles were purchased from scrap dealers at ₹ 1.40 per bottle
- The couple will build 4-5 donation centres with plastic bottles
- Government has invited the couple to conduct recycling workshop in colleges
New Delhi: In June this year when Prashant Lingam and his wife Aruna Kappagantula decided to reuse 1,000 plastic bottles to build a bus shelter, little did they know that the initiative would find so much appreciation from everyone including the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). Now, with the support from city’s civic body, the couple wishes to build 100 bus shelters across Hyderabad. In addition to this, impressed by the couple’s recycling efforts, the GHMC sent a proposal to Prashant requesting them to build a donation centre out of PET bottles.
A few days back, Prashant and volunteers from his venture, ‘Recycle India’ constructed a 12×12 donation centre near the famous Oracle building. The donation centre, fondly known as ‘Share Happiness’ centres was made out of 1,500 PET bottles by 5 volunteers in less than 15 days. Citizens who wish to donate items ranging from clothes, bags, shoes to furniture can simply go to the charity centre and drop it off. Besides, encouraging charity, the civic body aims to spread awareness on the three R’s- Reduce Recycle and Reuse.
In another few months, the couple aims to construct 4-5 donation centres made out of plastic bottles, “The GHMC has said that there is a need to make donation centres in radius of every 10-15 kilometres,” says Prashant. The 1,000 bottles were purchased from scrap dealers at ₹ 1.40 per bottle.
The decision to make donation centres came in after it was concluded that constructing bus shelter in prime areas or main roads of Hyderabad was not feasible, “There were several issues from advertising revenue through bus shelters to maintaining the knockdown bus stop that arose during the meeting with GHMC,” said Prashant.
When the civic body realised that these plastic bus shelters got a lot of attention from all the citizens and generated awareness on plastic waste, it didn’t want the educative wave to be stopped and hence it asked the couple to reuse plastic bottles and make the donation centre in a prime area of the city.
As for the bus shelters, the couple didn’t want to withdraw a project which gained so much attention across the nation, “We wanted to continue this innovative way to spread awareness about plastic bus shelters and hence we appealed to the civic body to provide us with place within the colonies to make them,” adds Prashant. The GHMC has no issue if the bus shelters are constructed in the internal lanes of the city said Hari Chandana Dasari, West Zone Commissioner, GHMC.
For building 100 plastic bus shelters, the finances will be increased and since Prashant’s venture consists of a small team, he plans to collaborate with corporates and educational institutions. Infact the Swachh warrior has already convinced a few colleges to not discard their plastic bottles, “The students have shown a huge support as they are not only storing the bottles from the cafeterias but are also taking the pain to bring back the bottles they have used outside the college,” says Prashant.
By going from one educational institution to another, the couple is making strenuous efforts in involving the young guns of the society, “20,000 plastic bottles are being purchased per second across the world. It is utmost necessary that we bring these alarming facts to light and give viable solutions to tackle the plastic menace. And hence we thought why not target the youth of our country,” adds Prashant.
Recognising their work, the government of Telangana recently sent an invitation to the duo asking them to conduct workshops on waste management at government degree colleges confirms Prashant.
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