Published: 02nd November 2019
Hate littering? Here's why you should join the Walk For Plastic in Chennai
The Walk For Plastic initiative has already recycled at least three tons of plastic waste in just 145 days with at least 800 volunteers on board
Just how bad is India's plastic problem? Are we even aware? Most importantly, are we doing enough to prevent the piling up of plastic waste in landfills or the littering around us? If not, then we still have a chance to make that right, thankfully. Walk For Plastic, an environmental conservation organisation in Chennai is conducting a 25 kilometre-long walk on Sunday, November 3 from Villivakkam to Besant Nagar (10 am to 6 pm) to prevent plastic littering on roads. And you can join them from anywhere if you want to do your bit to help better the plastic situation in our country.
Walk For Plastic is not to be treated as a one-day activity, but a continuous process, says King Gowtham, a resident of Chennai, who is the main organiser of this initiative here. What began as a solo activity on June 1, 2019, has now reached more than 800 people who have been volunteering for this cause for 145 days. November 3 will be the 146th day of this initiative and the walk is being called Payanam 25. Payanam means 'to travel', explains Gowtham.
The Walk For Plastic initiative has already recycled at least three tons of plastic waste in such a short period. Gowtham, who is a full-time artist says that he has always been creating art that has the potential to create an impact on society, but he thought it was never enough. "My artworks are about social issues like women empowerment and environmental issues that talk about negligence. It portrays how we are killing this planet and we are all negligent about the whole thing. However, I felt I was not doing enough or reaching more people. So I decided to do this and began walking at night. Took a sack bag, walked three-four kilometres just to collect plastic littered on roads. Continuously for the first 10-15 days, I was walking alone, no one came up and provided supported. I began posting about it on social media, after that, a few people joined walked," he explains.
Eventually, Walk For Plastic began to spread out. On Day 25 they got 16 volunteers, Day 32 the number increased to 38 volunteers and people started walking for the cause not just across the country but around the world. Within 100 days, the initiative collected 2.2 tons (2200 kgs), and on their 50th day, recalls Gowtham, they had collected 200 kgs of plastic alone. "It became a regular activity since and it has to be as we throw away plastic every single day," he adds.
The route to be followed
After the collection is complete, it will be sent to the Greater Chennai Corporation for recycling. Under its 'Zero Waste Initiative', the Greater Chennai Corporation is currently segregating waste and treating different kinds of solid waste as per its composition. "Until now we had been giving away the waste collected to the paper mart and they would, in turn, give us a cut — every material has a recycle value. We are saving up that money and have plans to give it to the needy and the underprivileged to help with their educational needs," says Gowtham.
On Sunday, along with Chennai, Bengaluru will also walk 27kms for the same cause. So far 50 people have confirmed to volunteer in Chennai, says Gowtham, adding that he is hoping the numbers would cross a three-digit mark. It's not a compulsion for people to walk for 25kms at a stretch, but they can join in anywhere and if they wish they can leave anywhere. Gloves and sack bags will be provided at the venue. People are only requested to carry their drinking water.
You can find all the details on Walk For Plastic's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.
For more information contact: 9791139512