KOCHI: Most of us might ask ourselves why our cities are ruined by erecting flex boards in hoardes. Isn’t there any solution to this menace? Many times, our queries would have gone unanswered. Not anymore!
In an attempt to pave the way for a sustainable future, Sign Printing Industries Association (SPIA) has launched ‘Zero Flex Waste Kochi’ project in the city in association with Kochi Corporation and Niravu, a Kozhikode-based organisation working on waste management.
“We have launched our flex recycling plant in Mandya, Karnataka with a capacity to handle the flex waste from across the state. When the state government planned to ban flex production across the Kerala that affects 3 lakh families, we decided to take up the challenge of recycling the material,” said Stephen Madavana, Ernakulam district president, SPIA.
Despite being a noble cause, the organisers found it difficult to implement the project due to official apathy. “We wished to establish the plant in Kerala. But the state industries department could not acquire land and the state Pollution Control Board did not give us the permission for the same. We are hoping to receive support from Kochi Corporation,” he said.
“ Through SPIA, we are planning to debunk the common belief of flex recycling. Normally, people and authorities simply dump the flex boards without any alternative option. We have asked the Kochi Corporation to hand over the flex boards which are collected by their workers,” Stephen said.
The Kochi Corporation is also hopeful about the project. “We already held a primary discussion with the Association. As we have no system to recycle the flex waste, we will ensure our complete legal support to them. If they have a proposal to establish their plant here, we will consider it. We asked them to appoint collection agents at different areas and ensure timely despatch,” says Minimol V K, Health Committee chairperson, Kochi Corporation.
The association has classified the district into nine zones namely Tripunithura, Edappally, Aluva, Paravur, Angamaly, Kalady, Paravur, Angamaly, Kalady, Perumbavoor, Kothamangalam and Muvattupuzha and Kochi to implement the venture. “We are collecting the waste once in two months from these zones with a nominal charge of Rs 10 from the association members. For other customers, we give away coupons of Rs 5 for each flex board,” adds Stephen.
Nirav is also upbeat about their participation in the project. “We are part of the SPIA’s statewide campaign to recycle flex. Nirav employees will look after the functioning of the project,” said Babu Parambath, project director, Nirav.