BENGALURU: While they might be fighting tooth and nail when it comes to supporting their favourite teams, fans of all Indian Premier League (IPL) teams will come together on Saturday to declare war against a common foe, pollution.
The RCB Fan Army, the Whistle Podu Army, Chennai, Orange Army, Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capital and Rajasthan Royal fans will sign up for a historic declaration to end the use of single-use plastics like flags, cheering items, plates cups and spoons at the finals of the IPL season, with Mumbai Indians taking on Chennai Super Kings in Hyderabad on Sunday.
According to estimates, the total number of fans for all teams number between 7 and 10 million and many of them are waking up to the dangers that single-use plastics pose. Experts peg the amount of waste generated per IPL match at 4,000-5,000 kilograms and the declaration, if adhered to, could have a sizeable impact in India’s battle against pollution.
While all fan armies will use social media to show their support for the initiative, at least two fan clubs will be present at Hyderabad for the finals. It will be their responsibility to ensure their members stick to the self-imposed ban on single-use plastic items. Earlier green initiatives of this sort have had the support of cricketers like Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni, Saurav Ganguly and Brijesh Patel.
This project has been propelled by the European Union Resource Efficiency Initiative. It is part of the official European Union initiative to fight the menace of plastics across the world. They have been inspired by Freiburg in Germany which is one of the world first green cities that achieved this rare feat through ‘fan power,’ not the regular ‘sarkari,’ route. Soon other sports fans of football, kabbadi and badminton
will also be roped into the initiative.
“Plastic waste management is a global issue and is a direct problem affecting every citizen. Sports is a global platform which connects all common persons on this earth. Hence, the EU has embarked into this mission of tackling the problem of single-use plastics through sports and will try to bring everybody on a single platform,” said Dr Dieter Mutz, Team Leader, European Union Resource Efficiency project.
Closer home, the green initiative kicked off when the then Karnataka Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee called up former Indian captain Anil Kumble and together the two decided to dedicate their efforts into making Bengaluru green. While the city has seen several projects like solar power generation, rainwater harvesting and wastewater recycling, it is still struggling with the plastic ban.