Varanasi: A unique waste bank has been opened in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, which is also the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to keep the environment clean. This bank involves transactions through plastic waste. The plastic is collected by the people of the city, volunteers of the plastic waste bank as well as consumers and deposited here.
If the quantity of plastic is less, then an individual is given a cloth bag or face mask in lieu of that plastic waste. On bringing a larger quantity of plastic, money is given to the people according to the weight of the plastic waste. This bank is helping to fill the pockets of people in exchange for plastic waste.
This bank located at Maldahiya in Varanasi is called the ‘Plastic waste bank’.
According to Municipal Commissioner Gaurang Rathi, KGN and UNDP are working on the Public-Private Engagement (PPE) model. A ten metric ton capacity plant has been set up at Ashapur in Varanasi. There is a ban on polythene in the city. Tetra packs and water bottles are in circulation which are disposed by recycling them.
KGN Director Sabir Ali said the city collects nearly two tons of polythene waste every day. Apart from this used drinking water bottles are purchased for Rs 25 per kg. After processing this waste, it sells for nearly Rs 32-Rs 38 per kg.
He said plastic buckets, cans, mugs etc. are purchased at Rs 10 per kg which are sold after saving Rs four to five. The bank also takes waste like cardboard etc for recycling. The plastic waste collected in this bank is deposited at the sewage treatment plant at Ashapur. The plastic waste is pressured with the help of a pressure machine.
The plastic is separated im which the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles are pressed with a hydraulic baling machine and collected in the form of a bundle which is sent for further processing. Other plastic wastes are also separated and are sent for recycling. This waste is then sent to Kanpur and other places, where with the help of a machine, the plastic waste is used to make plastic pipes, polyester threads, shoe laces and other material. In this initiative by the Municipal Corporation, this bank has been created for the disposal of plastic waste.
V.D. Tripathi, Chairman of the Mahamana Malviya Ganga Research Centre, BHU, said the carbon molecules are smaller and lighter on burning polythene which penetrates inside the nose. This reduces a person’s ability to breathe. The plastic can’t be disposed off easily.
If the burnt plastic waste is swallowed by living organisms, then it results in swollen stomach which ultimately causes death. If this plastic is thrown on the roads and is eaten by cows and other animals, then it is harmful for them. It causes more physical harm than poisoning. There would be a lot of benefits from opening such a waste bank.