Think ‘Glocal’ Chennai

Here’s how discarded plastic items took the shape of a security cabin in Mumbai

Discarded plastic items turned into eco-bricks.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

At a football ground in Bandra, Mumbai, stands a security booth scoring goals for sustainability. Called ‘BoTo’, it combines wacky upcycling with a strident message about the impact of plastics on our environment.

With a bamboo cladding, the 10x10 booth liberally uses recycled plastic items, which largely include tetra packs and plastic fibres. “Eco-bricks” and biodegradable materials further build the sustainability theme, the brainchild of Global Shapers Mumbai, a network of young people who shape their cities through community projects.

The initiative engaged with children from various schools so as to create awareness about various aspects of waste management and sustainability, including waste segregation and the need to avoid plastics, where it can be avoided, and recycle them, where they can’t be avoided.

“We had students from 50 schools help us build the eco-bricks,” says Amishi Parasrampuria, co-lead for the project. Eco-bricks are made of recyclable plastic bottles packed with thin plastics and non-biodegradable waste. With the help of NGO Greenline, workshops were conducted at schools.

The completed structure.

The completed structure.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“The students collected some of the recyclable waste that was necessary for the project,” says Amishi, adding that in two months more than 5,000 PET bottles were collected. The exercise prevented 3000 kg of non-biodegradable waste from going to the landfills.

The project had its challenges, with Shapers having to wait for close to one-and-a-half years just to get the go-ahead from the authorities.

“And then finding the right construction partner, sourcing the right materials and doing necessary quality checks took time. Overall, it took over two years to get the structure ready,” says Ruchie, an architect by profession and co-lead for the project.

She says the security cabin is well-used. Inside, the temperature drops by three to four degrees celsius.

Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, is present in a few other cities as well, and the local chapters are known as hubs.

“Delhi hub has shown interest in having this project started in their city,” says Amishi.

According to a post on the Mumbai hub’s Facebook page — ( post) — the group has partnered with Swiggy and InfinityBox for a pilot project with certain restaurants, on reusable food containers.

(Think ‘Glocal’ is a section that features civic initiatives across the country from which Chennai can glean lessons for the development of its neighbourhoods)

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 11:28:06 PM |

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