Setting a New Precedent

KOCHI:Perhaps for the first time in the history of world sports, the State has presented  a disposable-free model of event management, as it conducted the National Games with almost zero usage of ‘use and throw’ paper cups and plates and water bottles. With nearly one lakh people associating with the games every day, waste amounting to four lakh disposable items per day would have been created. The initiatives of Green Protocol Committee, which was set up to reduce the amount of waste, stopped the generation of about 120 Metric tonnes of disposable waste over the entire duration of the Games.

Ban on disposable water bottles had reduced the amount of waste from 60 lakh pieces to around 6 lakh, which is a mere 10 percent of it. This event showcased people from all over India with diverse backgrounds having food from cleaned and reused tableware. According to those behind the Green Protocol, the National Games 2015 is a beginning in the quest to reduce the use of disposable plates and cups in big events.

“Most of the caterers, in all the 30 Games venues, took extra effort to provide clean and reusable tableware each time they served food. The best examples for this are Thiruvananthapuram’s ‘Kudumbasree’,which  served food to nearly 10,000 people every day in reusable tableware and Suchitwa mission, which distributed water to spectators in all the 30 venues, in stainless steel tumblers. They served coffee, tea and soft drinks in the same tumblers,” said K Vasuki, executive coordinator of the National Games Green protocol committee and Executive director, Suchitwa Mission.

Due to this initiative, the food waste at the venues bacame easy to separate for scientific biodegradable waste management.

In contrast, use of disposable plates and cups would have generated more than 600 metric tonnes of mixed waste ending up as toxic dump. Around 700 volunteers of Suchitwa mission were involved in this initiative.

They were specifically trained on the maintenance of hygiene, disinfection and service. Every delegate was provided  the ‘Ammu water bottle’ made of stainless steel.

They used it to carry water to venues thereby avoiding  the piling up of used plastic water bottles. Every venue was made a green zone using marked cloth tape. Suchitwa mission volunteers screened and marked all disposable items with a sticker against `10 deposit to ensure it was carried out of the venue.

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The New Indian Express