'Only One Earth': Here are the AP districts working to become plastic-free

Reviving the 1972’s theme, this World Environment Day is celebrating “Only One Earth,” focusing on living sustainably and in harmony with nature

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  5 Jun 2022 2:30 AM GMT
Only One Earth: Here are the AP districts working to become plastic-free

Visakhapatnam: In what way are we helping protect mother nature? Beginning with the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century, human actions have caused widespread environmental damage, such as global warming, pollution of air, water, and land, and biodiversity loss. Have we ever thought of sustainable living? Reviving the slogan of 1972's Stockholm Conference, this World Environment Day is celebrating "Only One Earth," focusing on living sustainably and in harmony with nature. The 1972 United Nations Conference on the Environment in Stockholm was the first world conference to make the environment a major issue.

Have you imagined a day without plastic? This Environment Day, NewsMeter shares how a few districts in Andhra Pradesh are creating plastic-free zones to inspire others.

Plastic free Tirumala

This year, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) banned all types of plastic in Tirumala, including bottles, bags, and even shampoo sachets, with effect from 1 June. The officials met Tirumala shopkeepers and hotel management and asked them to use biodegradable bags to pack clothes and toys. Now, devotees will be allowed to go to Tirumala only after a thorough check at Alipiri. TTD health officer Dr. Sridevi has also asked business owners to segregate garbage and hand it over to the sanitation staff.

What is not allowed?

· Single-use plastic

· Use-and-throw water bottles

· Plastic covers and sachets

· Any product wrapped in plastic

What is allowed?

· Daily usage of plastic

· Tupperware boxes

· Children's stuff

· Biodegradable covers


Avoid plastic, get two cloth bags

The Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has come up with a novel idea to reduce the use of plastic in homes. It is distributing two cloth bags to each household with the aim of banning the use of plastic below 75 microns. From 5 June, the GVMC will open the 'Eco Bazaar' at Beach Road and offer cloth/jute bags and eco-friendly products at subsided prices.


Do not kill us with plastic

With the motto "Do not kill us with plastic," a campaign called "I Love ATP" is being run by Anil Kumar of Discover Ananthapuram. Mr. Anil, who has been trying to do something good for his district, decided to spread the word about banning plastic. "A major source of plastic use in carry bags and flexy banners. The district is suffocated by plastic, which should be changed," he said.


Plastic-free temples

All temples in Andhra Pradesh will turn plastic-free from July. Devotees will have to carry jute, cloth, or paper bags when entering the temples. Even the sale of bottled drinking water in the temples will be banned. In this context, the endowments commissioner, M. Hari Jawaharlal, issued orders to all temples, instructing them to ban water bottles, prasadam covers, carry bags, and pooja materials.

Eco-bricks

"Our oceans are flooded with plastic wastes and sea creatures are becoming endangered species. Cows and dogs eat from garbage dumps and dustbins filled with plastic waste. Single-use plastic ban was announced in 2017, but being a resident of Vizag, I have seen how beaches are covered with plastic. Seeing all this, I have started my contribution by not disposing of any kind of plastic waste from my house. Instead, I started making 'EcoBricks' and made around 50 of them in two years by filling plastic waste in water bottles," said Sai, a resident of Vizag.


"Maybe my work is a small drop in the sea but I will work more to contribute more to society. I plan to make eco-friendly chairs and tables," added Sai.

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