Thanks to the widespread penetration of plastic, the sad reality is that you will rarely come across public and private spaces without any plastic content at all. Wrappers, poly bags and broken household articles, have unfortunately become an indispensable part of our lives.
Understanding that the perils of plastic could have severe consequences to our environment, various individuals, non-profit and even government organisations are now implementing initiatives that aim to considerably cut down on single-use plastics and introduce more eco-friendly alternatives for public use.
But these students of Subbiah Vidyalayam Girls Higher Secondary School in Thoothukudi have set a stellar example that most of us adults should take inspiration from and implement in our own lives.
In an initiative mooted by the City Corporation that intended to address the issue of packaged consumables with their manufacturing companies through schools, the school girls collected 20,244 wrappers of all the packaged food items that they had consumed in approximately two weeks.
They then sent these wrappers back to the respective manufacturers along with a note that said, “We are happy with the taste and quality of your products, but unhappy with the plastic packaging. We want to ensure a safe environment for our future generations and minimise our plastic footprint. We have decided to collect used plastic wrappers of your products and send them to you for safe disposal. Please help us savour your products without guilt, by introducing eco-friendly packaging.”
About 10,660 wrappers belonged to leading food products company, Britannia, while Nabati, a company which manufactures wafers, came next with 3,412 wrappers. These were sent back to these companies with the help of Alby John Varghese, the Corporation Commissioner of Thoothukudi.
In his letter to the companies, Varghese mentioned that producers, importers and brand owners were wholly responsible for collecting plastic waste left by their products, as per section 9 of the Plastic Waste Management Rule, 2016 and that the Corporation expects these companies to come up with an action plan for collecting used wrappers that can be implemented in two months.
“The exercise by the students was a grand success. We will extend the practice to other corporation and private schools,” the commissioner told the Times of India.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)