There is no denying the harmful effects of plastic on our planet, still, most of us continue to the single-use plastic usage in our day-to-day lives. As the government planned a ban on most single-use plastics, which should be in effect from July 1, 2022, Noida Authority has been working to make the city plastic-free. The Authority has been working with foundations in the city to drive a positive change. Through their myriad efforts and endeavours, Noida bagged 1st position as India’s Cleanest Medium City (3-10 Lakh population) in Swachh Survekshan 2021, an annual survey of cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation in India.
Supporting this cause through its robust efforts is HCL Foundation. They started the Clean Noida Project in 2019 and have achieved many milestones in the last three years of its operations, including planned graffities, cleaning several vulnerable dumpsites, educating the masses about waste segregation, teaching them, and providing them with needful things for bio composting, to name a few.
The Foundation has now launched Plastic Heist Campaign to bring awareness regarding the harmful effects of single-use plastic. This campaign will educate the masses, mainly shopkeepers, about the responsible use of plastic, and the dangers of overflowing landfills that are full of toxic, non-biodegradable plastic and encourage people into recycling waste, and boycott plastic bags, and microplastic waste that makes its way into the oceans. The campaign shall continue for six months and through this initiative, HCL Foundation will divert kilos of waste from informal dumpsites.
“Citizen Engagement is an important part of Swachh Survekshan. Plastic Heist is part of our social experiment to trigger the message of Say-No-To-Plastic and engage with the citizens in a fun way to maximize the impact and encourage a sustainable change in the city,” said Abhishek Saini, Founder of Those In Need, Implementing partner of HCL Foundation.
The Campaign was launched in 5 markets of Noida- Sector 18, Bharmputra market, Ganga market, Godavari market, and Sector 50 market on May 7 & 8; accompanied by a street play and door-to-door campaign. Hundreds of visitors gathered to watch the street play that was beautifully conceptualised and explained the harmful effects of plastic.
The Plastic Heist team along with the Noida authority staff seized the plastic bags, plastic straws, and other plastic items from the markets and engaged with citizens to suggest ways to reduce their plastic consumption. The aim of this campaign is to encourage shopkeepers in these marketplaces to stop using plastic. HCL Foundation and Noida Authority will recognize the business owners as Sustainable Businesses for working towards minimizing the hazardous impact on the environment through means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.
“I usually come to this marketplace with my friends and was delighted to see such engaging play and the social message. There are small eateries that use straws and plastic cups and I am sure this will bring awareness to a more biodegradable change,” said Ritika, a college student.
This campaign is the beginning and going by the previous success of the HCL Foundation, we hope the campaign drives a positive and much-needed cleaner change.