The Plastic Mukt Abhiyan, a three pronged plastic waste “awareness, segregation and behavior change” program was a citizen-led initiative of the Dehradun Nagar Nigam and was executed with our support. The Abhiyan was a classic example of innovative citizen engagement exercise as an integral part of the Swachh Survekshan 2022 mission in Dehradun. The Abhiyan nudged and encouraged students and their families to start the practice of waste segregation at a household level.
The Plastic Mukt Abhiyan involved students from Class Six (6) and onwards in 105 schools in Dehradun and reached out to 47,956 students, teachers/staff and their families over a two month period. The major focus of the Abhiyan was on the collection of single use plastic and on spreading citizen centric information regarding sustainable waste management practices. The segregated and collected plastic was recycled through a chain of Nagar Nigam approved recyclers.
As a part of the Abhiyan, each school had set up Plastic Banks in their campus where the segregated plastic waste brought by the students was collected. Schools were requested to appoint Plastic Sangrakshaks (School Principal), Plastic Yodhas (Senior Teacher/Staff) and Plastic Prahris (Plastic Class Monitors) in their premises. We are glad to share that we built a community of 104 Plastic Sangrakshaks, 114 Plastic Yodhas and 1429 Plastic Prahris during the course of the Plastic Mukt Abhiyan. Regular communication through WhatsApp Broadcast groups was conducted with the above mentioned community of 1647 volunteers in the 105 schools.
Outcomes and Impact
We are delighted to share that 2,324 kilograms of single use plastic waste (close to 1.1 Million chips packets, each weighing approximately 2 grams) was collected from the participating schools. Apart from the waste collection activities, many schools conducted additional swachhata activities like street rallies, debates and clean ups in their campuses. The active participation of the schools made the Plastic Mukt Abhiyan a jan andolan, a student-led movement of cleanliness and swachhata in Dehradun.