With no good option for disposing of non-recyclable plastic food wrappers, Indian students have decided to send it back and let the manufacturers figure it out.
At a loss for what to do with the plastic waste piling up in their streets, city councilors in India are encouraging school children to round it up and mail it back to the manufacturers.
Students from one middle school in the port city of Thoothukudi collected more than 20,000 packaged food wrappers in less than two weeks, sorted them out and mailed them back to the companies who manufactured them.
More than 10,000 of the wrappers came from a company called Britannia (owned primarily by Nabisco) which makes biscuits, bread and cakes.
Along with the wrappers, the students sent a letter:
“We are happy with the taste and quality of your products, but unhappy with the plastic packaging. We want to ensure a safe environment for our future generations and minimize our plastic footprint. We have decided to collect used plastic wrappers of your products and send them to you for safe disposal. Please help us savor your products without guilt, by introducing eco-friendly packaging.”
Cities have been “fighting hard to cut down on plastic usage and the indiscreet disposal of waste,” reports The Times of India.
The companies also received a letter from Thoothukudi commissioner Alby John Varghese reminding them that according to a 2016 law, producers, importers and brand owners — not municipalities — are responsible for collecting plastic waste left by their products.
He says the mass-wrapper mailing was a “grand success” in generating publicity and that there are plans to extend the program to other schools and cities.
While the students had fun with the clean-up this time around, the commissioner has asked the companies to come up with an action plan to clean up their own mess within the next two months.
First published by Return to Now on 18 Aug. 2018