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Efforts to save the environment are on, but it needs to gather pace

By Nikita Nayar
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The World Environment Day came and went, but did it really instigate a revolution that would ensure that every individual is committed to keeping the surroundings clean? Several hashtags and social media campaigns flooded the internet on June 3 emphasising on the importance of keeping your surroundings spick and span. So, was all the enthusiasm surrounding the World Environment Day just a social media hype or did it translate into something substantial?

plastic pollution

Ahead of the world environment day, SAAHAS Zero Waste, a not-for-profit organization, conducted a three-day awareness drive from June 3 to June 5. On June 5 (World Environment Day), SAAHAS conducted drive across all campuses in the RMZ Tech park. They organised events that advocated for a cleaner living and talked about plastic pollution and the harm it could cause.

Alongside they also showcased their own products which were recycled from plastic waste. The participants of the drive were the people who worked at the RMZ Tech park. The response to their drive was a positive one. The participants were asked questions, and the answers proved that they were not just there for the sake of it.

"As individuals, people have this intuitive feel to blame the government or authorities for not taking a harsh stance, but as individuals we could make a lot of incremental changes to have sustainable habits," said Ishaan Aggarwal, the Client experience manager of SAAHAS.

"On a macro level, our aim is to achieve sustainability and to transition the world into a circular economy. But on a micro level it is to focus on making every person aware of what their waste is, what they are creating and how they can segregate it using simple measures rather than tossing it out for somebody else to do all that work," he added.

Another method of recycling plastic waste is the technology used by KK Plastic Waste Management which uses it for the construction of roads. They collect plastic waste from offices, schools, colleges, apartments and factories, and convert it into a form which can be used for road construction. In partnership with Bangalore Municipal Waste Corporation, they have constructed roads that stretch up to a total of 3000 km.

But, they claim that without the support of the government they are unable to go ahead with this project.

"Though it wouldn't cost them anything more than the usual cost, the government and the concerned authorities have not been of much support to us and without their support we cannot go ahead with the project," says Ahmed Khan, the Manager Director of KK Plastic Waste Management.

The smallest of changes we make in our lives can greatly contribute towards the betterment of the society. As an example, take a look at the plastic toothbrushes that we throw away after every four weeks of use as recommended by the dentists. Instead of using plastic toothbrushes, you can now exchange them for bamboo toothbrushes that are both biodegradable and cheaper than the ordinary plastic toothbrushes that you use.

It is not that things aren't changing, many are now slowly coming out of their safe zones to spread awareness on the topic and working on it as they genuinely want to make a difference in the society.

The task of saving the environment is solely ours as individuals, and other NGOs, the government aided companies can only support us. Disposing off the waste that accumulates in our homes is the work of the government, but the duty of minimizing the waste is ours.

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