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Chhattisgarh Launches First ‘Garbage Cafe’ to Feed Poor in Leu of Plastic Waste

This scheme is being linked to the cleanliness campaign

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first garbage cafe
Persons fetching 1 kg plastic waste will be offered a full meal while those collecting 500 grams waste will get a substantial breakfast. Wikimedia Commons

The country’s first garbage cafe has been launched here in Chhattisgarh. Under this, the Municipal Corporation will provide food to the poor and homeless in lieu of plastic waste. Persons fetching 1 kg plastic waste will be offered a full meal while those collecting 500 grams waste will get a substantial breakfast.

Ambikapur, which has been selected as the second cleanest city after Indore, plans to use the plastic for construction of roads. The cafe will operate from the city’s main bus stand, said Mayor Ajay Tirkey who presented the city’s municipal budget on Monday.

The budget provides Rs 5 lakh for the Garbage Cafe Scheme. There is a plan to provide free shelter to the homeless who collect plastic waste. Ambikapur already has a road made with plastic granules and asphalt.

first garbage cafe
The cafe will operate from the city’s main bus stand, said Mayor Ajay Tirkey who presented the city’s municipal budget on Monday. Wikimedia Commons

The first such road in the state has been made in the city by mixing 8 lakh plastic bags. The road constructed by mixing plastic and asphalt is durable, because the water does permeate through it. Under the campaign, the Municipal Corporation will provide food for poor and homeless people of the city free of cost. Not only this, there will also be arrangements for shelter with food for such people.

ALSO READ: With the Coming of Yogi Adityanath, Organised Crimes Lost Steam and Gangs Disorganised in UP

This scheme is being linked to the cleanliness campaign. Ambikapur is the second largest city in the country in the ‘Sanitation Campaign’. Tirkey said the corporation has already restricted the use of plastic carry bags.

By adding it to the Garbage Cafe scheme, it will be implemented strictly. Ambikapur made stupendous progress from last year’s 40th rank to mark its emphatic presence as the top civic administered town in solid waste management. (IANS)

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Cambodia Returns 1,600 Tons of Plastic Waste Exported from US, Canada

Neth Pheaktra said 70 of the containers were shipped from the U.S. and 13 came from Canada. Both countries are major waste exporters

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plastic waste
Containers loaded with plastic waste are pictured in Sihanoukville Port, southwest of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. July 16, 2019. VOA

Cambodian authorities have announced plans to return 1,600 tons of plastic waste exported from the U.S. and Canada, according to a high-ranking official from the Environmental Ministry.

Inspectors found the waste Tuesday. It was packed in 83 containers unloaded in Sihanoukville, one of Cambodia’s main ports.

Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra told VOA Khmer on Wednesday that “authorities are seeking the companies that smuggled the plastic waste in order to take legal action.”  He added that the waste would be returned “to the country of origin.”

Neth Pheaktra said 70 of the containers were shipped from the U.S. and 13 came from Canada. Both countries are major waste exporters.

plastic waste
80 percent of the waste found on 93 beaches was plastic. VOA

‘Not a dustbin’

“Cambodia is not a dustbin where foreign countries can dispose of out-of-date e-waste, and the government also opposes any import of plastic waste and lubricants to be recycled in this country,” said Neth Pheaktra.

In the past, Cambodian authorities have found radioactive and film waste arriving in Sihanoukville.  He said the plastic waste found this week was not biodegradable.

Emily Zeeberg, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia, said the embassy “is monitoring reports of plastic waste at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port.”

Zeeberg added that “we have requested additional information and are offering U.S. government assistance to determine both the exporter (country of origin) and the importing entity here in Cambodia.”

Sorn Chey, who works with the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific, said the authorities should heed control mechanisms. “This is something that should not take place,” he added.

plastic waste
Scientists: China’s Ban Causes Plastic To Pile Up, Nations Must Reduce Usage. Pixabay

Chinese project

Cambodia’s rejection this week was the latest step in a trash crisis that emerged when China began Operation Green Fence in February 2013. It was aimed at reducing the vast amounts of contaminated recyclables and waste sent to China.

ALSO READ: Mahindra Group Chairman: No More Plastic Bottles at Boardroom Meeting

In January 2018, Beijing banned almost all imports of two dozen types of recyclable materials, such as plastics, mixed paper and electronic waste. Now, unless the materials are clean and sorted so they are unmixed, China rejects them.

Since then, other countries in Southeast Asia that accepted waste have started to turn it away. In May, Malaysia returned 450 tons of plastic waste to the U.S., the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and the Netherlands. Earlier this month, Indonesia rejected waste from Australia. (VOA)