Zero Plastic

‘Zero Plastic Starts With Me’ project

4134 students make eco bricks

Considering the damage caused to the environment and human life due to plastics, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) has been carrying out an extensive awareness programme under the guidance of Municipal Commissioner, Abhijit Bangar. In a special campaign ‘Zero Plastic Starts With Me’, which was conducted by NMMC and implemented by Heart Foundation, an NGO working in the field of education for over two decades, the students from 51 schools made 11,484 eco bricks from plastic bottles with a whopping 1281 kgs of non-biodegradable items.

“The campaign was for a period of nearly two and half months from 18th October till 6th December through which we highlighted the seriousness of the issue. The students from various schools of Navi Mumbai participated in the campaign and made eco bricks from plastic bottles. The aim was to make children aware of the seriousness of the issue,” said an official from NMMC.

In this special campaign, despite the closure of schools due to Covid 19, around fifty one schools participated and responded spontaneously. Under this innovative initiative, students collected non-degradable plastic waste such as chocolate wrappers, packets of different wafers, one time used plastic bags and started storing them in one litre plastic water bottles and deposited these in their school. This was later collected by the NMMC.

4134 students actively participated in this campaign and collected 1281 kg of plastic in 11,484 plastic bottles. The winners of the competition were felicitated by NMMC on 29th January. On this occasion, Deputy Commissioner of Solid Waste Management Dr. Babasaheb Rajale, Chief Sanitation Officer Rajendra Sonawane and other dignitaries were present.

Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Babasaheb Rajale lauded the students for their tireless efforts in collecting plastic.

Dr. Ellis Jayakar, Founder President, Heart Foundation while speaking on the occasion said, “The ‘ZERO Plastic Starts With Me’ project was not a competition but an awareness programme for each one of us to realise how important it is for us to be responsible first by ourselves, our family, neighbours, city and then the nation. There is a saying ‘Train a child in a way he should go and when he is young he shall not depart from it’ and this is what our project was all about.”

Adding further he said, “Our slogan for this project was ‘Every bottle collected is towards cleaner Navi Mumbai. Let us pledge that from this moment onwards we will remember that Navi Mumbai is not a city but our home and we are responsible for our home.”

“Inspite of the pandemic with all the schools closing, we got 51 schools to join in this project. 4134 students participated wherein we collected 11484 bottles with a whopping 1281 kgs of non-biodegradable items, which was first of its kind in Navi Mumbai,” said Nidhi Agarwal, a member of Heart Foundation.

On this occasion, Mahi Eknath Patil (Chartered English School Airoli), Nainesh Khandare (Ryan Christian School Vashi), Harman Singh (Podar International School, Nerul) were awarded first three prizes respectively for the best performance in the field.

Similarly, NMCC School no. 94 Koperkhairane, Anchorwala Education Academy, Vashi, Euro High School Airoli were given the first three Best Performing School Awards respectively for the highest collection of plastic bottles.

In addition, the best 7 schools in each node of NMMC as well as the 7 students who made the maximum number of eco bricks were honoured for their best performance at the departmental level. All the 51 participating schools were also honoured.