‘StoPlastic’ campaign takes off in Manipal3 min read
MANIPAL: With the rise of environmental concerns and climate change, StoPlastic Manipal – a student project run by the students of Manipal Institute of Communication (MIC) organised a three-day campaign against the use of single-use plastics on October 10-12 which was precedented by a publicity stunt held on October 9. The campaign was initiated by the students of MIC following a notice from the Government of India to the University Grants Commission (UGC), launching the Swachhta Hi Seva campaign. It was constituted of three events – a plastic collection drive, a workshop, and a cleanup drive.
The first day of this campaign witnessed a plastic collection drive, which covered the length and breadth of Manipal and its institutions. Single-use plastic such as wrappers, bottles and containers were collected from the masses to ensure the proper disposal of plastic. When asked about the inspiration behind the campaign, Shreya Kumar, a volunteer said, “People are observing, just not paying attention. This drive is just a small step in the bigger picture.”
A workshop was held by Purple Space – Kid’s Library and Learning Lounge at Madhava Kripa English Nursery and Higher Primary School on the second day of this campaign. Plastics collected from the collection drive were further segregated into plastic bottles, tetra packs, straws and bags. Nearly 70 students attended this workshop along with a few faculty members. Upon being educated about how to upcycle these plastics into beautiful handicrafts, the collected materials were distributed among the students and were meant to be crafted upon and put to use in their day-to-day classroom settings.
Pallavi Behera, founder, Purple Space believes that the need to fight single-use plastic is huge. “We’re indirectly drinking our plastic as microplastics and campaigns like this will make people more aware and have them question their choices before purchasing items with plastic,” she commented.
The third day of the campaign saw the members of the project conducting a cleanup drive along the busy streets of Manipal. Though primarily targeting single-use plastics, volunteers also collected other forms of waste such as construction plastics, tapes and aluminium wrappers scattered along the footpaths. All volunteers donned black clothes as a sign of mourning for mother earth.
This stunt, however, faced some criticism over the use of new trash bags during their publicity stunt, wherein students covered their faces with plastics to symbolise the choking of the earth with the waste generated. Commenting on the same, Akanksha Anil Kumar, campaign manager, StoPlastic, said that; with limited time and resources these were the only measures they could take. “These plastics, however, will also be recycled along with the other waste collected,” she added. She further said they hope to imply greener initiatives in future campaigns.
Commenting on the same, Dr Padma Rani, Director, MIC said, “It made people look. Passersby would be struck by the element of surprise. In this age of information, people tend to ignore the necessary bits. This stunt made people look, read and understand.”
Featured Image Courtesy: Aradhika Jain
Edited by: Tarush Dhume