Mumbai: Following the ban on plastic bags in Maharashtra, Green Yatra, a group of environment-conscious people has launched 'Bag for Cause' campaign to promote eco-friendly bags in Mumbai.
As part of the campaign, the group has so far collected 100 tonnes of plastic, electronic and other recyclable waste from housing societies in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and has gifted over 20,000 bags to the people. The group has also planted over 1.3 lakh fruit trees, such as coconut, mango, chickoo, guava, pomegranate, across MMR since 2010.
"Plastic bags are one of the primary sources of marine litter. Earlier, we did not get a good response since people were not interested. But after the ban proposal, people realised it is important to go plastic-free," said Pradeep Tripathi, founder Green Yatra, adding that, "All types of dry waste coming to us is being either sent for recycling, or being returned to the industries or being reused."
In September 2017, state environment minister Ramdas Kadam announced that Maharashtra will ban the use, sale, possession and manufacturing of all kinds of plastic bags and packaged water bottles from Gudi Padwa from today.
The waste that comes to the NGO is either sent for recycling or returned to the industries and reused.
Tripathi said their campaign also helps empower underprivileged and tribal women.
"A woman can make 15-100 bags daily and earn a good amount of money. The women designing and stitching eco-friendly bags can earn up to Rs 10,000. We have identified women in both rural and urban areas to help make these bags. These bags can carry up to 15 kg of weight." The group runs a training centre in Ambadi in Thane, dedicated to tribal women since 2012. The group plans to empower 1,000 tribal women by the end of 2018 by setting up more training centres across the state. UNI