COVID and sustainable consumption: Green Action Week 2021 campaign in India to look at negative impact of pandemic

By: |
October 08, 2021 1:16 PM

An initiative of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), the GAW is coordinated in India by Jaipur-based advocacy group CUTS International.

In India, CUTS International has paired up with 12 organisations across 12 states outside of Rajasthan

Sustainable consumption: Sustainable consumption is a key component of environmental conservation. Accordingly, since 1990, Green Action Week (GAW) has been observed by multiple countries to promote sustainable consumption. This year as well, October 4 to October 10 is being marked as the Green Action Week by 60 organisations in 40 countries. The concept around this year’s campaign is around the coronavirus pandemic which has negatively impacted the cause of sustainable consumption, and the theme is ‘Sharing Community’. An initiative of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), the GAW is coordinated in India by Jaipur-based advocacy group CUTS International.

In a statement, CUTS International said that the campaign has focused on encouraging sharing and collaboration since 2018, and this year as well, the campaign would focus on implementing ways to ensure equal and sustainable access to goods and services that can benefit people as well as the planet by the means of collaboration and sharing.

The statement cited CUTS International Director George Cheriyan as saying that the pandemic has led to a huge increase in consumption of plastic products, with even single-use plastic making a return in the form of gloves, masks, PPE Kits, face shields, sanitiser bottles, etc. Not only that but with most of the population switching to remote working and learning, the use of electronic gadgets has also increased by a large margin. Cheriyan gave some figures as well – Kerala saw a 400% increase in sales of laptops, while this figure was 200% in Rajasthan. He added that estimates suggest that by 2021, 5.2 million tonnes of e-waste would be produced in India. Apart from this, because of either public transportation being halted due to lockdown or because of physical distancing norms, use of public vehicles has also increased as compared to the pre-pandemic levels.

In India, CUTS International has paired up with 12 organisations across 12 states outside of Rajasthan – Tripura, UP, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka – to work together on sustainable consumption and look at recovery plans to reverse the impact of current trends.

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