Business Wire India
To highlight the impact of plastic pollution and the urgent need to make better choices, a video story capturing people’s voices from the banks of the Ganga river was released on Monday, featuring local community champions and residents from across the Gangetic belt.
Industry leaders from the F&B sector and startup founders too joined the conversation in a roundtable event to discuss the alternatives that are #PlasticSeBehtar
In less than a week this campaign has already reached more than 4 million people with more and more joining the conversation to share alternatives that are #BetterThanPlastic
Every year, about 1.15 and 2.41 million tonnes of plastic waste enters the ocean from rivers and Asian rivers are responsible for 86% of the total global input. These are rivers that run through areas with millions of people. The banks of the Ganga River is one such example. To create awareness about the impact of plastic pollution and the importance of making choices that are better than plastic [plastic se behtar] in India, the United Nations Environment Programme’s CounterMEASURE project in collaboration with LetMeBreathe has launched a campaign focusing on this urgent issue, and very importantly, the solutions: What’s #PlasticSeBehtar?
Capturing people’s voices from the banks of the river Ganga, one can hear first-hand from the local community champions about this issue in the video story. “Nobody throws garbage on their mother, the same way it is our responsibility to keep our river Ganga clean,” says a school student studying in Rishikesh. Vinod, a social worker in Varanasi reiterates the same sentiment, “People say we need to clean Ganga ji, but I am saying we don’t need to clean Ganga ji, we need to spread the message that we should not pollute Ganga ji in the first place!.” Watch the story now.
Everyone knows that plastic pollution is a big problem, yet one's relationship with plastic is a contradictory one. It is an integrated part of everyone's lives. “It is important that environmental costs and prices are internalized so that change becomes a norm instead of a niche" explains Divya Datt, Programme Management officer at UNEP India. There is an acute need for awareness about better choices and better behaviors that could help limit the use of plastic.
"You have to make slightly hard decisions once in a while. That's the only way you can start making change. We stopped take-away coffee orders at our cafe" explains Gauri Devidayal, Co-founder and CEO of Food Matters Group.
Following the debut of this campaign, industry experts in the F&B sector like Gauri, along with startup founders came together for a roundtable discussion to share insights on what’s #BetterThanPlastic. As author, food columnist and historian, Anoothi Vishal puts it, “there is so much scope at B2B level & B2C level where we can reduce plastic waste generated by the [F&B] industry.” Chef Thomas Zacharias (aka ChefTZac) shares insight on how a shift in mindsets is needed, “let's make it trendy to go back to the roots. Let's make it cool to be minimalistic. We have to think of ways of making being conscious & responsible more fun, easy & accessible.” Watch the whole discussion now.
The choices people now make matter. "Today sustainability is a choice. In the next 5-7 years, it will be a mandate" as Aditya Ruia, Co-Founder of Beco aptly summarizes.
Positive actions taken as an individual, as a community, as a business owner – have an impact. As part of this campaign, the United Nations Environment Programme’s CounterMEASURE project and LetMeBreathe will continue to highlight such individuals, communities and businesses that are taking similar positive actions.
Whenever one opts for an alternative to plastic or works towards a solution to plastic pollution, these 'small wins' gather momentum for collective action to beat plastic pollution and its adverse impact on rivers and ecosystems. Through this conversation, the goal of the campaign is to enable more and more people to do the same.
If you have a solution to share, join the conversation using the hashtag #PlasticSeBehtar #BetterThanPlastic.
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