The focus this Environment Day is on Air Pollution, a major cause behind seven million premature deaths. The second major cause of air pollution after burning garbage is the single use plastic. Though plastic is banned in India’s 25 states, 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste — enough to fill 1500 trucks — is still being generated every day.
That said, awareness about environmental issues is on a rise among different industries, either opting for eco products and eco-safe packaging or undertaking CSR activities.The beauty industry has jumped on this sustainable bandwagon with many cosmetic brands choosing to produce organic beauty products free of harmful chemicals. TNIE lists four brands and their eco-motives in India:
Say no to micro-beads
Swedish direct-selling brand, Oriflame only uses natural extracts. They claim the ingredients of all their products undergo eco-ethical screening to ensure they are safe and of superior quality. No ingredient is derived from endangered sources. For example, the Oriflame scrub product contains natural-origin exfoliants, such as almond shells, instead of plastic micro-beads.
Compostable tableware manufacturer, CHUK, has tied up with corporate food giants PVR, Haldiram’s, Chai Point, Foodpanda, Krispy Kreme and Vatika Group and ensured the brands have moved from styrofoam/single use plastic to compostable tableware.CHUK tableware products are made from bagasse that completely decomposes within months in backyard compostable systems. Bagasse pulp makes the products lightweight, flexible, microwaveable, sturdy and leak-proof.
In association with Plastics For Change, HasiruDala and HasiruDala Innovations, cosmetic brand The Body Shop launched its first Community Trade recycled plastic in Bengaluru. The brand uses 15 percent Community Trade recycled plastic and the remaining percent of recycled plastic from European sources in its 250ml hair care bottles. The company has also launched its in-store recycling programme – BBOB (Bring Back Our Bottles), to encourage customers to return empty plastic packaging in stores for recycling. Planned as a pan-India initiative, the programme is currently operational across 40 stores.
The Oxford University Press (OUP) CSR initiatives are in line with their objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education. In 2016, it entered into a formal agreement with Jaagruti, a private organisation working in the field of paper recycling, and with its help OUP has been recycling all its waste paper and convert it into notepads, A4 sheet papers. In the last three years, OUP has recycled over 15 tons of waste paper. The impact of the recycled paper is equivalent to saving 255 trees, 420,496 litres of water, 26,280 litres of oil and 61,155 KW hours of energy.
What you can do for the environment
Don’t burn garbage or leaves as this simple act releases toxic gases into are. Plus it is a crime, so if you see someone doing so, report to police.
Do not throw anything in any water body, be it Yamuna or Hindon rivers or Haryana Canal. Discourage others from doing so.
Segregate your garbage at home. Convert bio-degradable into compost and make sure the rest goes to landfill site.