Rethink Plastic: UNEP-TERI joint initiative in Mumbai region
Known for its rich marine biodiversity, South and Southeast Asia are becoming hotspots of plastic leakage. Regional coordination and collaboration are critical for managing plastic waste, both on land and in water. Some of the largest rivers in the region—Ganges, Indus, and Mekong—carry uncollected waste from cities to the oceans. The accumulated plastic and microplastics causes more damage to our marine ecosystem and also threatens to impact biodiversity, livelihoods and human health.
On 4th March 2019, the Government of Japan and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) declared a collaborative effort to enhance the knowledge and information for developing countermeasures against marine plastic litter in Southeast Asia and in India. Supported by UNEP, the project titled 'Promotion of countermeasures against marine plastic litter in Southeast Asia and India' is being implemented along the Ganges River Basin in Haridwar/Rishikesh and Allahabad, and along the Yamuna River Basin in Agra.
As part of this initiative, TERI will steer a public campaign named as Rethink Plastic in Mumbai to raise awareness about plastic pollution, its impacts, and ways to manage plastic pollution and motivate communities to reduce consumption of single-use plastic. TERI shall undertake the following activities:
- Encouraging local partnerships to reduce plastic pollution in marine environments,
- Engaging local communities through a stakeholder perception survey to enable develops an effective roadmap
- Engage multiple stakeholders such as academia, industries, government, civil society organizations, and citizens to take definite action against plastic usage.
- Develop a team of motivated trainers to help reach out masses to achieve long term impacts
- Demonstrate innovative ways to reuse plastic waste such as PET bottles to raise around 50,000 saplings of native trees to offset the carbon footprint involved in the production of PET bottles
People have taken the pledge to RETHINK PLASTIC.
People have completed our perception survey
People have committed to provide waste bottles with native saplings and to help offset the carbon footprint
A perception survey about plastic consumption, waste management, and its impacts.
Take Our Survey
Take a pledge with us to be a part of the solution to plastic pollution.
Pledge Against Single-Use Plastic
Download our official app and join us to plant native tree saplings in PET bottles.
Rethink Plastic App
Collection and characterization of plastic waste in Mumbai's marine ecosystem
1. Mangrove ecosystem
On 2nd November, as a part of the project, a pilot clean-up activity was organized at two mangrove areas adjacent to Vashi creek, Sagar Vihar and Mini Seashore in Navi Mumbai. A total of 18 volunteers including TERI staff, local residents and school students conducted the clean-up in two teams. A total of 280 kg of waste from two sites was collected and segregated in 10 categories such as glass, paper, plastic bottles, rubber, etc. Plastic bottles collected during clean-up activities shall be utilised by TERI for the event scheduled on 2nd February. The pilot activity allowed an opportunity to interact with like-minded stakeholders such as government officials and corporate organisations.
Read full blog here
2. Beach ecosystem
On December 3, 2019, a second clean-up activity under our campaign was carried out at the Chimbai Beach in Bandra, Mumbai where a group of local volunteers collected and segregated waste. TERI team briefed more than 30 participants about the clean-up drive and distributed personal protective equipment. After the waste collection, 16 types of plastic waste was segregated such as single-use plastic, plastic bottles, polyester, and cutlery. Read in detail here.
Get involved and help us offset the carbon footprint
One of the ways of addressing India's urban waste problem is community involvement. When people rally together and take the onus upon them, with a common goal, any challenge can be solved such as removing litter.
Join us to help put plastic waste in the right place.
In collaboration with volunteers from schools, colleges, and housing communities, under the campaign Rethink Plastic TERI attempts to demonstrate the reuse of waste plastic bottles, collected from around the city. The bottles will also be collected from Clean-up drives that will be organized as a part of the campaign. The bottles collected from these efforts will be up-cycled and planted with native tree saplings. These saplings of native trees like Neem, Peepal, Banyan and so on would also be collected through several treasure hunts in campuses of schools/colleges/residential societies and from roadsides. Further, the saplings will be nurtured and handed over for afforestation to government departments, NGOs, citizen groups and, and individuals for afforestation.
The campaign will culminate with a World Wetlands Day event on February 1, 2020, where the 50,000 plastic bottles with saplings planted in them would be handed over for further nurturing and afforestation.
Similarly, a survey would be conducted by TERI, to assess the perception of the local community about:
- Plastic waste- waste disposal and segregation
- Impacts of plastics on humans and the environment
- Awareness, willingness to use and actual use of alternatives to plastic
- Awareness about plastic waste-related policies
- Training of Trainers for volunteers from the Brahamkumaris on 30th December, 2019 (Tentative)
- Training of Trainers for NSS students from 3rd to 7th January 2020 (Tentative)
In the News
On December 23, 2019, TERI conducted a roundtable discussion on "Plastic Pollution and Role of Stakeholders" at University of Mumbai campus, Fort, Mumbai.
- Here's where your plastic goes: Inside marine species
- Mumbai: 'Every 100gm of fish has 80 microplastic particles'
- समुद्री माशांमध्ये प्लास्टिकचे अंश