Fri, 04 Dec 2020

Bin that butt to save the environment

ANI
19 Oct 2020, 21:55 GMT+10

New Delhi [India], October 19 (ANI): Let's Do It India, the Indian subdivision of 'Let's Do It World' organisation, that aims to instill a lasting change in the way solid waste is dumped in India and is relentlessly addressing the need to promote a greater understanding between people and the environment.

This world clean-up day, the organisation wanted to highlight the soaring issue of cigarette butt litter and thus launched The Fugitive. The campaign aims to stir awareness around the severe environmental impact of cigarette butts while shifting behaviours to regulate butt litter.

The campaign and efforts of Let's Do It India are supported by a number of names in the market, including Skillex, an educational platform that focuses on the timeless skills that make the world work. Skillex based out of Estonia is not only the campaign's power sponsor but has also been passionately encouraging the purpose and vision of LDII.

The Not-for profit in collaboration with Tiffin Talks organised a webinar on 19 September 2020 which is also observed as the World Clean-up Day. The discussion with some eminent panelists hovered around the intensity of toxicity created by cigarette butts and ways to dispose them in a responsible manner.

Let's Do It India (LDII) is working towards educating people on this kind of waste and also encourages people to collect and donate their cigarette buttsto the organization for recycle purposes. The NGO targets to collect about 1 crore cigarette-butts (3 tonnes approx) until the end of 2021.

"Cigarette butt litter is a pressing concern which needs to be acknowledged and resolved promptly. Several people in our country are unaware of the pollution it creates. Thus, we have stepped forward to drive awareness on this issue under our latest campaign 'The Fugitive'. We are working with the government authorities to put a warning on cigarette packets about the toxicity of butts. Additionally, LDII is also in conversation with the largest producer of tobacco in India to raise awareness around this problem of cigarette butts," said Prof Pankaj Chaudhary, Founder, Let's Do It India, commenting on this grave issue.

"Cigarette butts are the real fugitives of our society therefore it's imperative that apart from having a strong policy framework, we also create a proper disposal mechanism," he added.

Let's Do It India has also collaborated with Wasted 360 Solutions and Code Effort Pvt. Ltd. to tread forward in the campaign and hosted their Founders Ann Anra and Naman Gupta, respectively, to learn more on the ground reality and ways and means to address challenges around this issue.

LDII has been working extensively on bringing change. The campaign witnessed a widespread awareness and impact throughout the country, covering over 28 states and 6 union territories. Leaving its mark at over 8.64k plus locations, the drive had 5.82 plus lakh people joining in for the cause. The non-profit label collected 120 plus tonnes of total waste which accounted for over one lakh cigarette butts. It also held digital clean-ups, which further witnessed 1.73 plus lakh people participating and cleaning 132048 GB (132.048 TB) of trash.

Other initiatives which served as a wakeup call for the people of the nation and contributed to the environment included:Individual cleanup with 2.61 lakh plus participants collecting 60 plus tonne of waste amounting for 75k plus cigarette buttsSmall group clean-ups with 1.48 lakh plus participants collecting 50 plus tonne of waste accounting for 37k plus cigarette buttsAwareness campaign with 3.62kplus people being a part of the changeAwareness sessions on social media with environmentalists and social activists engaging 400 plus names across the countryThe campaign also saw participation from Allianz Technology with close to 6000 plus employees joining the campaign.

"Most of us do not realise that cigarette stubs are not biodegradable and pollute nearly 1000 litres of water. Estonia, however, realised the problem and both the politicians and NGOs came together to collaborate and rethink on the design of the product, manufacturing as well as packaging to ensure its environment friendly," said Siim Kiisler, 4th President, UN Environment Assembly, commenting on the occasion.

The webinar also witnessed some thought provoking comments and perspectives from the experts.

"I insist on holding the tobacco industry responsible. It's imperative to implement producer-responsibility regulations to reduce, mitigate and prevent manufacturing single-use filters. There is a strong need to stabilize global temperatures and transition towards cleaner energy sources, by reducing energy consumption through policy regulation," said Khalid Boudali, Deputy Presiding Officer, ECOSOCC, African Union.

"All offices and factory plants of Finolex that houses about 3000 plus employees now dispose of the cig butts in separate bins as directed by Let's Do It India. We are trying to do our bit as corporates, and as individuals, and are also trying to reach out to other corporates to adopt this way of living," said Gayatri Prakash Chhabria, Trustee Mukul Madhav Foundation.

The campaign and efforts of Let's Do It India are supported by a number of names in the market, including Skillex, an educational platform that focuses on the timeless skills that make the world work. Skillex based out of Estonia is not only the campaign's power sponsor but has also been passionately encouraging the purpose and vision of LDII.

Supriya Rehil, Director, Projects and Communications, Let's Do It, India and the lead for the campaign, added, "The response towards our campaigns has been overwhelming and we wish to keep creating ripples of awareness in people while collaborating with like-minded organisations, governments and change leaders."Needless to say, we are coexisting with our environment and to prevent and save it from any further damage, both the consumers and producers must come together along with the government and NGOs to mitigate risks. The need of the hour is to form an interconnected web, holding the big sharks accountable and demanding change in conventional ways of making and disposing of cigarette-butt litter.

LDII's The Fugitive campaign has successfully initiated a dialogue and a step in realigning ourselves in the way we look at cigarette butt waste and the aspects of its correct disposal and treatment. Their endeavor has already started the butterfly effect that will surely bring about the much needed change that our world deserves and requires.

This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

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