Free food in exchange of plastic: How an Indian cafe is fighting against waste and poverty

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Published: September 23, 2019 5:40:41 PM

As the conversation about climate and environmental damage via plastic gains momentum each passing day, several cities and even individuals have come up with their own way to fight plastic pollution across the globe.

India is one of the leading voices in spurring a fight against plastic waste and now, the country has debuted very first ‘garbage cafe’.

As the conversation about climate and environmental damage via plastic gains momentum each passing day, several cities and even individuals have come up with their own way to fight plastic pollution across the globe. India is one of the leading voices in spurring a fight against plastic waste and now, the country has debuted very first ‘garbage cafe’ with the aim to provide food in exchange for trash. Taking a leaf out of Belgium and Cambodia’s books, India is set to open a garbage cafe in Chhattisgarh’s Ambikapur. The makeshift cafe, which has been made in a converted bus shelter, will provide a full meal in exchange for a kilogram of plastic trash. Those who manage to get 500 gms of waste can get a free breakfast, World Economic Forum reported.

A little in the East, another Asian country Philippines is fighting both poverty and plastic by handing out one kilogram of rice for every two kilograms of plastic waste. In a country where one out of every five individuals is living below the poverty line, the move is expected two kill two birds with one stone by giving locals an incentive to collect plastic waste. Thanks to the enforcement of the scheme, about 213 kilograms of plastic has already been sent to recycling.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged that the country will be free of single-use plastics by 2022. He has even asked other countries to be a part of India’s fight against plastic pollution. While India gears up for Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, a blanket ban on single-use plastics is widely anticipated on and before 2 October 2019. India’s Central Pollution Control Board has already released a list of items that are proposed to be banned under single-use plastics. The list includes thin plastic bags, straws, cups and other utensils. Several other countries including China, Kenya and Morocco have already implemented a ban on thin plastic bags.

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