Koraput: In an initiative that is both charitable and ecologically responsible, Odisha recently launched a scheme by which poor can get Rs 5 meal in exchange for a kg of plastic waste.
The initiative is part of the state government’s Aahar scheme. It was flagged off by the Kotpad Notified Area Council (NAC) in Koraput district.
On the first day on Monday, 10 kg of plastic was collected and 10 meals were served in exchange to those who brought the waste in, the Think Change India portal reported.
“Plastic waste chokes drains, traps birds and kills livestock apart from causing serious health hazards to humans. This is a small step to protect the environment and the health of people,” said Alok Samantaray, executive officer of Kotpad NAC.
Meanwhile, Koraput is leading a drive to make the town plastic free. As part of the effort, officials have been going door-to-door and sensitising residents on the need to curb plastic use.
Inspired by the drive, residents have started collecting plastic waste like polythene bags, plastic bottles and cups and bringing them in.
“Seeing people’s enthusiasm for the programme, we are hopeful that in the next few weeks, we will be able to free the town of polythene garbage,” said Samantaray.
In another initiative to reduce plastic waste, the Odisha government had earlier installed milk ATMs in Ganjam district. Citizens were urged to bring their own containers instead of using the more common plastic milk pouches.
In July, Chhattisgarh had launched a Garbage Café in Ambikapur to provide free meals to the homeless and ragpickers in exchange for 1kg of plastic waste. This had inspired Odisha to launch a similar scheme in Koraput.