NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.
Mumbai: Pedestrians in Hyderabad will now get a chance to walk on discarded plastic or rather tiles made from waste – like polybags, chips packets, plastic bottles, bottle caps and so on. The city, which is known for its unique ways to reuse waste like using using tyres as furniture in government offices, has cracked yet another innovative model to beat plastic pollution and prevent the plastic from reaching its landfill. Bamboo House India, a social enterprise in collaboration with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) are using paver tiles on roads made from thousands of used polybags and other plastic items.
Talking to NDTV about this new initiative, Prashant Lingam, founder of Bamboo House India says,
We are always in the process of experimenting with city’s plastic waste. In the past we have refurbished plastic into several products and furniture. After using plastic paver tiles for a pavement in June, the GHMC gave us the contract of using such tiles on city roads. Paver tiles will be used in two of the city’s prime locations to attract maximum attention.
The tiles made from 30,000 plastic carry bags were procured last month from a Delhi-based company Shayna EcoUnified India Pvt. Ltd. The work on installing paver tiles has already started. With expert advise from Bamboo House India, the civic corporation is likely to complete the project in a few days.
The tiles will be used to cover 1,500 square feet of area in Shilparamam and 3,500 sqaure feet in a pet park. Since Shilparamam is located right in the middle of the city and many software companies are in the same area, the paver tiled walkway made from plastic is likely to draw attention.
“A board will be placed in both the locations giving details of the project. As people will read it they will get aware about our plastic pollution and the urgent need to tackle it. Besides, the project will also set an example of how plastic waste, if used smartly, can turn into something useful,” explains Prashant.
The paver tiles from plastic come with twin benefits. It will solve the problem of road digging. Usually, when a water connection pipe is to be repaired or a telephone wire is to be installed the civic corporation digs a portion of road and the road has to be made again. Both, time and huge amounts of money is spent in the exercise. In case of paver tiles, all one has to do it to lift a patch of the tile, complete the task and put it back.
Secondly as opposed to regular cemented roads, the paver tiles cost much less. While an average road construction costs up to Rs 10 lakhs, the paver tiles purchased by the GHMC cost around Rs 3 lakhs. Besides, the tiles can take approximately 20 tonnes of weight so the possibility of cracks is eliminated.
Depending on the success of the initiative, it will be extended to other public areas, especially the areas near bus shelters.
If there is any project that encourages waste management and recycling we always take it up. More importantly, we try to undertake the project that can be showcased in the public domain to spread awareness. After studying the pros and cons of fitting plastic paver tiles the corporation gave a green signal. The roads will be studied for few months and if successful we will expand it in other areas as well, Hari Chandana Dasari, West Zone Municipal Commissioner tells NDTV.
Toilets Made From Plastic Waste
Apart from paver tiles project Prashant and his team are also working on another pilot project using plastic waste. the team has built toilets from plastic waste to provide sanitation and hygiene to children in a government school in the city. The toilet project happened when during one of their projects Prashant came across a recycler who makes boards from various scrap plastic materials. After researching for months, Prashant came to a conclusion that the boards can be used to make toilets.
The toilet is stand-alone toilet meaning that it can be dismantled and moved whenever needed. It is also cost-effective as it costs around 40,000 as against one lakh. The height is eight feet and is a 4×4 model. The walls and flooring will be made from 400-500 kilos of plastic waste, says Prashant who has previously made a bus shelter, dining table and a water tank from discarded plastic.
Like the paver tiles, the functioning of the toilet will also be tested for a few months before the project can be scaled up and more such toilets built.
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