TRIKARIPUR (KASARAGOD): Nearly 300 sacks of plastic waste have been stacked up in the car porch in the house of Fousiya VP. The plastic waste - mostly carry bags - were collected from the nearly 800 houses in Beericheri, Ward No. 19 of Trikaripur grama panchayat. The plastic wastes are in Fousiya’s house because the residents would not allow them to be stored at the panchayat’s Material Collection Facility (MCF).
Fousiya, 42 - the president of Trikaripur gram panchayat -- decided to create awareness on plastic waste by setting an example. “They are not waste. They are used but clean plastic covers. I brought them to my house to show people that they cause no health hazards,” said the president. The plastic waste would be picked up by the shredding unit on Friday.
People are not worried about plastic being dumped along the road, but they oppose constructive initiatives in disposing them of, she said. “I’m certain that those opposing storing of plastic covers are being misled by vested interests,” she said.The previous panchayat council led by AGC Basheer invested Rs 5.76 lakh to build a shredding unit on the panchayat land at Nadakkav. It had to abandon the project because of resistance from 40 families living in a colony right across the PWD road.
When Fousiya took charge, she thought of completing the construction and using the building as a collection point from where shredding units can pick up the plastic.For the 21 wards of the panchayat, 48 Haritha Karma Sena workers were trained to collect plastic waste. Fousiya conducted awareness classes in all wards. “Residents were told to wash and dry plastic covers used to buy meat, fish and milk so as to avoid foul smell and flies and rodents,” she said.
A majority of the residents stick to it. “A few taunt me and ask for detergent powder to wash the covers,” she said. Fousiya, who has studied only up to Class XII, said plastic is a part of life. “We cannot ban it. But we can take the responsibility of managing it. We owe it to ourselves and the environment,” she said.