As heaps of garbage continue to contribute rising levels of plastic pollution, garbage management has become an on-going challenge for different State governments.
But now, a town is Chhattisgarh is offering a novel solution to not only the problem of waste management but also hunger.
In a recent move, Ambikapur, a city in Surat district of Chhattisgarh has set up a 'garbage cafe' to offer free meals to anyone who collects plastic waste and deposits it to the Municipal Corporation. This step aims at curbing plastic pollution and enhance waste management.
According to multiple reports, one full meal will be offered in exchange of 1 kg of plastic and a substantial breakfast in exchange of 500 grams.
According to a report by India Today, under the Garbage Cafe Scheme the Municipal corporation aims to provide food to the poor and the homeless and may also provide them with shelters in the long run.
The scheme was announced by Mayor Ajay Tirkey while presenting the Municipal budget last week and the authorities have allocated a budget of Rs. 5.5 lakhs for it. It has also been proposed that if the Corporation runs out of funds, they will propose the MPs and MLAs to dip in their MPLADS (Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) and MLACD (Member of Legislative Assembly Constituency Development) funds.
The scheme is a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and the plastic waste will be used to build roads.
However, this is not the first time Ambikapur will see roads built out of collected waste. Earlier too, in Godpur area, a road was built with over eight lakh plastic bags mixed with asphalt as plastic stops water flow penetration retaining the durability.
Under the Central government’s Swachh Survekshan 2019, Ambikapur was declared 'India’s Cleanest City No.2' after Indore in Madhya Pradesh and given a '5-star rating of ‘Garbage Free Cities'.