This wonderful news comes to us from Telengana, India.
Mulugu district in Telengana aspires to become the first to be declared single-use plastic free. In the early days of this month, the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao let all know that the state is going to ban the use of single use plastic. Even though the modalities on enforcing the ban are yet to be finalized, Mulugu, which is a newly formed district in Telengana state, has come up with a unique plan to get rid of single-use plastic.
The Mulugu District Collector C Narayan Reddy has formulated the “1 Kg rice for 1 kg plastic” scheme. This scheme encourages the citizens to collect 1 kg of single use plastic and exchange it for 1 kilogram of rice.
This plan was kicked off on October 16 and ever since then the authorities have managed to collect a whopping 33, 200 kgs of plastic. With a total of 174 gram panchayats, Mulugu is aiming to set up single use plastic collection points in each and every Gram Panchayat office. The district collector says, “It is very simple, the citizens need to drop the plastic at these collection points and based on how much it weighs, the equal quantity of rice would be given.” The plastic that is collected will be sent on to the cement manufacturing units.
As the district collector says, there is a lot of overwhelming support for the initiative among the common people. He says, “The Sponsors for the initiative are the donors, particularly the NRI’s. Many are donating rice and money for the initiative. Initially the retailers thought that this was a temporary measure but we educated them on the harms of single use plastic and persuaded them. Now they too are using paper bags.”
As part of the drive to combat the use of single use plastic, the authorities are also distributing cloth bags for free. This is to ensure that the people do not have to face inconvenience while they make purchases at the grocery stores. Till date, the authorities have managed to distribute 35,000 cloth bags. As the collector says, “By paying an honorarium of Rs 300 for each tailor, we hired a tailor in every village. The job of the tailor is to stitch bags for free for those who come with old and new clothes. “
By ensuring suitable support and backup for the decimation of single use plastic, Mulugu will succeed in its aim to become the first district in the state of Telangana to be officially declared single-use plastic free. The authorities have banned single use plastic from October 27th and violators are penalized.
Image source: The News Minute