Published: 28th December 2019
This Hyderabad activist will give you a sapling for every bag of plastic you leave at his doorstep. Here's why
Well-known citizen activist from Hyderabad Satish Kumar Pendyala is going to launch this initiative, with GHMC as partners, which will help curb both deforestation and the plastic problem
It was on October 2, Gandhi Jayanthi, that Satish Kumar Pendyala thought of his Plant For Plastic initiative. And as we all know, this is the day when the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was implemented. There's no two ways about the fact that plastic is one of the major pollutants we need to turn our attention to. It got Satish thinking, 'If there are alternatives available, why don't people use it?' Thus, began his research.
Hyderabad-based Satish spoke to several students in the city and visited as many as 30 households. And what he inferred was that people are unaware of what to do with the plastic that they already have, aren’t aware of the economically-feasible alternatives to plastic and don't know what is wet or dry waste. "Basically, those two dust bins that every household was given last year by the Telangana government are being used as anything, but dustbins," he shares. He realised that people can't be complacent any more when it comes to plastic. "With incidents like the felling of trees in Aarey forests and Nallamala, which happened in our very own backyard, on the rise, we need to act," he says. Hence, he came up with an idea to link plastic with planting trees and thus, the idea of Plant For Plastic dawned upon him. "The government wants to plant trees and wants to ban plastic as well, why can't we link both?" he pondered.
Plan of action
The proposal is to invite people to get a certain amount of plastic covers, plastic bottles and even hard plastic products to Satish's house in LB Nagar and in exchange, they can take home a sapling, free-of-cost. "Even those who want to gift a sapling to their friends or relatives can take it for free," he informs. This will be the programme every Sunday from December 31, which is when the 30-year-old is planning to launch the initiative officially. He also intends to have conversations with people who drop by, in no more than groups of four or five, about sustainability and the ill effects of plastic. And when one or two ton of plastic accumulates, his partnership with Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) comes in. The MNC ITC is a partner of GHMC and it is the former who will take away the plastic and recycle it. Thus, the menace of plastic will be curbed to an extent and more trees will be planted.
Satish has purchased about 150, all with his own money on a 50 per cent discount from Gift Chesthe in Ramanthapur. "Just think about it! Even the winters in Hyderabad were not as cold as they usually are. All this is linked to climate change and if we don't do anything about it now, we will regret it later," he asserts.