Garbage Free India launches Colours With A Purpose to promote waste management in Kolkata
The city is a riot of colours. Look out for splashes of blue, green, yellow and red at strategic locations with the slogan 'Colours With A Purpose'.
An initiative by Garbage Free India (GFI), Colours with a Purpose is an awareness programme designed to lead India to a Zero-Waste goal and to invoke a sense of responsibility among the citizens for a clean India. The garbage-free movement concentrates on segregating waste under the 3Rs method – Reduce, Recover, Recycle. Talking about bringing in a lifestyle change with Colours With a Purpose, Shruti Ghose, Co-founder Garbage Free India, says, “Individual action makes a difference. Consumerism is growing globally and in India. We are creating more waste and disposing them more and more. Hence, our responsibility must be towards managing waste at home and beyond.”
Ghose wants people to look at the wastes as resources and explains, “When we start looking at waste as a resource our perspective to manage it will also change. With our Colours With A Purpose activation, we hope to bring about a shift towards a sustainable lifestyle.” Daan Utsav partners with them and Vidya Madappa of the organization says, “Daanutsav this year has joined hands with GFI and are creating awareness amongst school and college students on how to prevent low value plastic from entering the landfills and also should be reused and refused.”
The movement is reaching out to schools and conducting Waste Empowerment programmes by collecting waste and separating them and diverting low value plastic from landfills. M. Andrews, Principal of Purushottam Bhagchandka Academic School, echoes, “We believe in inculcating the practice of ethical waste management and creating awareness about the use of low quality plastic among our students.” Colours With a Purpose, that kicked off this month aims to reach out to 2000 students.
The programme is reaching residential complexes in the city promoting composting. Talking about her efforts, 79-year-old Devyani Hirjee says, “When I was growing up, we rarely threw away anything. We always found some use for all the empty containers, leftover food and old clothes. Today, we buy more and discard soon, which means there is a lot of waste to handle. I have become a part of GFI to help do my bit.”
What marks GFI, a citizen-driven movement that started in 2012, apart from other similar organisations? We are told how the dry waste is further segregated into recyclable waste and MLP (multi-layer plastic), which is then converted to bales and utilised in cement kilns, landfills and other purposes. Sanghmitram Mukherjee of Shreemitram Environ Management who is collaborating with GFI and who would be channelizing the dry wastes to industries gives out the details. “We collect the dry waste and put in the designated sacks and vehicle and send it for segregation. The dry wastes are segregated into paper, plastic, glass metals etc. The plastic wastes are divided again with hard plastics going to the recycler through certified scrape dealer and the soft plastics like MLP etc. going for co-processing to collaborate in industries like cement factories which have PCB (Pollution Control board) certification for doing so.”
Urging people to join the new lifestyle movement for a better India, Kavita Kajaria, mentor Garbage Free India, says, “Civic sense does not come from just enforcement but from a sense of belonging which creates pride and a sense of ownership. I want everyone to have it.”