Sucking out pollution in Delhi: Students find grassroot solution to plastic straws | Delhi News


NEW DELHI: In 2020, when the lockdown was imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it meant a loss of business for many like Harun Khan, who owns Khan Timber Store at Chhatarpur in south Delhi. However, a few months later, students of Delhi University’s Aurobindo College came as a blessing for Khan. For the students, he was a source of their project to fight against plastic and for Khan it meant good business.
The students embarked on the project to replace plastic straws by making eco-friendly bamboo ones. The members of the college’s Enactus group have since been able to replace almost 60kg of plastic. This project is one of the four that made it to the finals of the global race (Race to Rethink Plastic) at Enactus World Cup scheduled at Puerto Rico in October.

Untitled design - 2022-08-29T084225.140

Through “Project Haritah”, the students buy bamboo from suppliers like Khan. They then take it to those living in Nepali Camp Harijan Basti near Vasant Kunj, who ready the straws.
Yash Rajput, president of the college’s Enactus group, told TOI, “We targeted those communities who were the most affected by the pandemic. The upper part of the bamboo is given to women. We also give them safety kits and sandpaper to smoothen the sticks to ensure there are no rough edges. The straws are cleaned in neem water and vinegar, as advised by FSSAI, to disinfect them. They are then packaged and sent to the end consumer.”
Phool Kumari, a worker, said, “I not only earn money, but also utilise my time productively. Many women have now started working together.” The amount given to these women depends on the order received by the students.
The consumers are mostly small restaurants, juice corners, etc in Delhi, Chandigarh and Haryana. “We were able to cover the cost in just seven months. The profit has been re-invested in the project. These straws are cheaper than steel ones. The cost is higher than paper straws, but ours can be reused. We also provide a cleanser made with coconut husk. While other cleansers use plastic fibre, our project ensures zero waste,” said Rajput, a third-year student of economics at the college.
The college students also aspire to revolutionise crockery by introducing bamboo spoons, forks and other articles. “Our prime focus is to instil in people the essence of sustainability and encourage them to make an effort for the same. There must be a better way to ensure we don’t contaminate the air or the soil,” said Shristi, another team member.

Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.