Over 110 volunteers from various schools, colleges, clubs and corporates came together for a mega beach clean-up drive at the Girgaum Chowpatty beach in Mumbai’s D-ward, and collected 800 kgs of waste within 2 hours. This drive was conducted under Project Waste No More, a large-scale public-private partnership-led project backed by SBI Foundation, the BMC and Hindustan Unilever, in collaboration with Xynteo Vikaasa and Dalmia PolyPro. Held on the eve of Global Recycling Day, this was the largest edition of the series of bi-monthly clean-up drives organised jointly by the five organisations, with ground support from Change Is Us, a youth-led volunteer group comprising local students and residents. The waste collected was loaded onto BMC trucks from the site and transported to a Xynteo-run facility in the D-ward for further treatment. The processed waste is ultimately handed over to manufacturers who use it as raw material for producing scores of products – like the t-shirts that the volunteers donned during the clean up drive. The drive also featured an art installation – a giant fish fashioned out of waste – symbolising an Ellen MacArthur Foundation study which predicts that plastic would outweigh the fish in the oceans by 2050. A team of volunteers also engaged with by-standers and educated them on the need of sorting their waste and how they can do their bit to keep their city and streets clean. “Recycling is a critical and topical movement that requires all hands-on deck – and the youth are leading this conversation in India, just like the rest of the world. Associating with diverse stakeholders and youth groups like Change Is Us has helped us take this cause to the mainstream in Mumbai,” said Mr. Lalit Mohan, President & COO, SBI Foundation. Mr. Prasad Pradhan, Head Corporate Communications, Hindustan Unilever added that waste segregation is a key piece of climate action, and clean up drives such as these play an important role in involving citizens in the fight against climate change. “It is heartening to see Mumbaikars come together to raise awareness on the importance of segregating waste at source and keeping it out of the environment. We all have a collective responsibility to play our part in making Mumbai greener and better,” he stated. The ‘Waste No More’ initiative, an end-to-end waste management model conceptualised in January 2020 by SBI Foundation and Xynteo Vikaasa, is being implemented in Mumbai’s D Ward in collaboration with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Hindustan Unilever and Dalmia PolyPro. The project also engages youth groups like Change Is Us to conduct bi-monthly clean-up drives and raise door-to-door awareness about the merits of waste segregation at source. Since its launch, over 3000 MT (metric tonnes) of dry waste and over 1500 MT of plastic waste have been successfully diverted from landfills and oceans. Furthermore, the project has integrated over 100 ‘safai saathis’ into the formal system with improved working conditions and job security. This model is now being scaled up and piloted in Aurangabad District by the Maharashtra Government. About the Partners Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is the governing civic body of Mumbai and is responsible for civic infrastructure and enforcing duty. Management of waste comes under the purview of MCGM’s Solid Waste Management (SWM) department, including collection and disposal of waste collected from across the city. SBI Foundation is the CSR arm of the State Bank of India. True to its tradition of service beyond banking, the foundation currently works in over 27 states and union territories of India, on rural development, healthcare, education, livelihood and skill development, youth empowerment, promotion of sports, and more. SBI Foundation believes in reflecting the ethos of the SBI group, in running interventions that are ethical, promote growth and equality, and create a positive impact on the society. Hindustan Unilever Limited is India’s largest ‘Fast Moving Consumer Goods’ (FMCG) company and is a subsidiary of Unilever. With over 35 brands spanning 20 distinct categories of products, the company employs over 18,000 people in India. Xynteo is a platform for galvanising leaders and catalysing ideas – and fusing them into new projects, for new growth. We are a tribe of 8000 people and growing – CEOs and business leaders from some of the world’s leading companies, pioneers and pathfinders, beacons, philosophers and wisdom keepers, artists, and media – combining forces to work on today’s biggest challenge: how to create a new growth model, fit for the 21st century. Xynteo has offices in Oslo, London, New Delhi, and Mumbai. Dalmia Poly-Pro is a recycler and has been in the business of recycling post-consumer plastic for the last 13 years. Their processing factory is in Vapi, Gujarat, and corporate office in Prabhadevi, Mumbai. Dalmia Poly-Pro has presence across 7 locations in India (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Telangana, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala).
Image1: Volunteers wearing t-shirts made from recycled plastic collecting garbage at Girgaum Chowpatty during the mega clean-up drive held to celebrate Global Recycling Day Image2: The SBI Foundation and Change Is Us teams pose in front of the art installation placed at Girgaum Chowpatty, curated by Minali Thakker
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