Plastic Waste is said to be the main reason why our environment is crumbling. Humans have created heaps of plastic waste that amount to almost 2.12 billion tons every year. If we manage to collect all the plastic waste on the planet and make a heap out of it, the mound would be as tall as or even taller than Mount Everest!
Researchers recently found plastic waste at the bottom of the deepest ocean on the planet and news like this is alarming! With the amount of plastic waste we have created, we really need to stop producing more plastic and recycling what we have.
While there is a major anti-plastic movement worldwide, Indians are still having trouble separating plastic waste from biodegradable waste. And this has led to the rise of an industry helmed by millions of ragpickers and homeless people who collect plastic waste and sell it to recycling plants for very little money. Despite working through the day, they are paid very less and can barely make ends meet.
So the Municipal Corporation in Chhattisgarh came up with an initiative called the Garbage Cafe. The cafe operates out of the city's main bus stand and gives out free meals in exchange for plastic waste. A person can turn in 1kg of plastic waste and get a full meal or they can exchange 500gms of plastic waste for a substantial breakfast.
Under this scheme, the Municipal corporation will also provide free shelter to these homeless ragpickers who collect plastic waste. The city plans on using the collected plastic by recycling it to construct plastic composite roads in the city.
We think that this is an excellent initiative and other states should also implement it as it will help improve the living conditions of millions of people in India.