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Pune residents embrace ‘share to save’ movement to help reduce use of throw away plates

The larger idea behind the initiative is for societies to not only stock serving material but also other stuff like tools (say hardware tools which we use very rarely).

pune Updated: Mar 22, 2018 15:26 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,residents,'share to save'
Residents are doing their best to help reduce the use of throwaway plates and items.(HT PHOTO)

The ‘share to save’( share your resources to save mother earth) was started by Vasundara Swacchata Abhiyan, an NGO located in Baner-Pashan link road, in February 2016, to help reduce the use of throw away plates. The initiative has gathered further momentum after the ban on plastic was announced on March 18.

An IT professional Shailesh and his wife Dr. Pallavi Valvaikar, who volunteer for Vasundara, have been promoting this initiative.

“ We want people to realise that we are generating permanent waste, out of parties which last for a very short span of time. If non-biodegradable single-use serving material is used, it stays on the land or water-bodies for years, thereby polluting the environment. We thought about how we could reduce the impact of our celebrations and make them sustainable and that was the motivation behind this initiative,” said Shailesh.

“We discussed this with the members of Vasundara Swacchata Abhiyan and thus had it rolling. Although plates are available on rent, we were keen on making this initiative a zero-rent system. People can borrow the materials needed and the money thus saved can be given to the maids for cleaning the borrowed dishes, after the party is over. We do not ask for any deposit and rely completely on trust,” added Pallavi.

The Valvaikars have always had their serving material being returned, and they also suggest the participants to clean the serving material with used water stored in small tubs or vessels and not under a running tap, so as to reduce water consumption.

Their larger idea behind this initiative is for societies to not only stock serving material but also other stuff like tools (say hardware tools which we use very rarely).” Why stock items if you use them only once a year, why not simply borrow,” they ask.

The concept is similar to a book library.This way Valvaikars feel that it can reduce the carbon footprint and promote judicious use of resources. “These days, sharing or borrowing is termed as old-fashioned, we would like to bring the concept back,” said Palllavi.

“Every time someone borrows the serving material, we measure the success of this initiative by counting the number of styrofoam (thermocol) plates being prevented from filling the dumps. We have seen a positive response to this initiative and many have showed interest by donating plates and other serving materials. We usually suggest people to start this initiative on their own at a micro-level i.e. in their societies,” said Pallavi.

Residents say:

“ We like the initiative. We use their service for all the parties in the house. I believe that if you understand the harmful impact of the use and throw items, you will find ways to avoid it. It is not a hassle if you see the garbage dumps filled with these styrofoam plates.”

Srihari Suthamally, a resident of Pimple Nilakh

“ I decided to use this service for a New Year’s party. that Vishakha Kulkarni decided to use these plates for the party. “All my friends were also very supportive of this and admired the effort. Since then, I have always used these; for parties, family functions, even for my daughter’s birthday parties. The convenience of use-and-throw paper plates is very high, however the adverse environmental impact of using these is in direct proportion to the convenience. That is why, I prefer to pay my maid extra money to clean these plates rather than buying paper plates.”

Vishakha Kulkarni, a resident of Baner..

First Published: Mar 22, 2018 15:05 IST