Powai has awoken – and a citizen-led global recycling revolution is taking shape.
Earth5R, Mumbai based Environmental Organisation along with students and citizens have conducted regular cleanups for the last 13 weeks. The team has so far successfully recycled 1 Ton plastics and brought it back into the circular economy, rather than allowing it to fill up a landfill. Earth5R works with the ideology that simply picking up waste and dumping it elsewhere is not a sustainable solution. Instead, the team recycles, upcycles and returns it to the circular economy.
Focusing specifically on plastic, and bottle caps Earth5R plans to collect as many used plastic bottles and bottle caps as possible. In addition, funds will be raised in order to cover the cost of manufacturing the benches. Once a sufficient amount of caps and funds have been collected, local waste pickers and recyclers will melt them and create plastic lumber bars to use for the benches. The benches will be placed around Powai Lake and neighborhoods of Powai. This is the idea behind ACT Powai – to create a long-term solution, rather than moving the problem somewhere else.
We are aiming to produce 20+ benches which will be made out of recycled plastic mainly contributed from the bottle caps. Each bench will utilize up to 25-30 kgs of plastic.
On Saturday, July 21, the Earth5R team along with citizens and student volunteers conducted the 14th cleanup activity under ACT Powai. Despite the heavy rains lashing the lakefront, the group was hard at work picking up trash from the periphery of Powai Lake. It was heartening to see actually see the amount of trash around the lake visibly decreasing.
During the cleanup activity, founder of Earth5R, and Mumbai based environmentalist Saurabh Gupta, briefed the citizens and students about the dangers of plastic pollution in the environment. This is because as plastic starts to break down, it becomes smaller and smaller until it eventually becomes microplastics. Once it is a microplastic, it can be ingested by fish and wildlife. Hence, it enters the food chain, harming animals in every trophic level; including humans. Therefore, it is important that we dispose of our waste properly because of the very items that we use to make our lives easier may ultimately end up hurting us in the end.
Saurabh also showcased the citizens writing pads made out of recycled plastic bottles. 85% of the waste was recycled and hundreds of volunteers gathered to participate in the immensely successful 14th Powai Lake Cleanup. With each cleanup, the impact grows bigger.
As with every one of Earth5R’s cleanup activities, our emphasis is on raising awareness amongst citizens about the significance of waste segregation and the subsequent recycling of dry waste. Hence, we pick up and segregate the trash collected to showcase the different kinds of waste entering our ecosystems.
Scroll down to see the various types of waste we collected this week…