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To Clean Goa Beaches, This ‘Waste-bar’ Exchanges Cigarette Butts, Used Straws For Beer

Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts nearly seven million tourists, which includes more than half a million foreigners

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New Year Eve Party
Goa (Wikimedia Commons)

By Mayabushan Nagvenkar

You could be fined Rs 2,000 for drinking beer on a Goa beach, but thanks to an innovative green initiative, 10 beer bottle caps or 20 used cigarette butts can fetch you a beer in Goa, if you exchange them at a pop-up waste-bar. The idea is to engage beach visitors in activities that create awareness about environment and conservation, while also cleaning the beaches.

Conceived by Drishti Marine, a private beach management agency roped in by the state tourism ministry to rein in the garbage menace on Goa’s beaches, the waste-bar is a hang out of sorts, where one can exchange segregated garbage for a drink.

The initiative kicked off on January 30, when the first of the pop-up waste-bars opened up at the Zanzibar shack, located at the beach end of the popular Tito’s Lane in the North Goan beach village of Baga.

“The waste-bar is a win-win concept. It is positive for the venue as it is a positive event that attracts a crowd. You get very happy customers as they feel they contribute to the society and get a free drink for it. And for brands, it helps in positioning,” Noreen van Holstein, who conceptualised the campaign along with Drishti Marine, told IANS.

“People come to Goa for two things: beach and the bar. So let’s give them what they come for – free drinks in exchange for garbage that they collect. This ensures that they become conscious of the waste that is there on the beach and that trash actually has value! They will leave Goa with a positive feeling and a clean beach,” she added.

Calvim Ferry in Goa. Goa can be
Goa has the potential to become the Venice of the East if it taps its intricate network of inland waterways for commuting. Wikimedia Commons

According to Van Holstein, waste-bars kicked-off in the Netherlands years back and the idea is catching on. Apart from cigarette butts and bottle caps, five used plastic straws will get you a bottle of chilled beer or a cocktail.

The waste-bar will pop up in various venues in the next few months.

Goa’s beaches attract nearly eight million tourists annually. Garbage piling up on the beaches in recent years has been a cause for concern and has led to the appointment of a private agency to keep the beaches clean and garbage-free.

Over the last few weeks however, the government’s inability to deal with the garbage menace, especially in areas which are popular with tourists, has been a major area of concern for the travel and tourism industry stakeholders in Goa following a drop in tourist arrivals.

Butterfly Beach, Goa
Butterfly Beach, Goa.

An ongoing tussle between the government and Drishti Marine, the beach management agency tasked with Goa’s beaches clean, has also resulted in slackening in the pace of garbage collection, with the opposition blaming the government for not handling the issue properly, especially during the peak tourist season.

“We ran an extremely successful campaign over 150 days in the last tourist season with the intention of creating awareness on beach clean-up and teach people about the importance of waste segregation. We made a significantly positive impact on that front and hence have decided to run the campaign this season as well,” Drishti Marine CEO Ravi Shankar said.

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Among other things, the waste items collected during the campaign are used to create various useful items including music instruments during workshops run by the organisation.

Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts nearly seven million tourists, which includes more than half a million foreigners. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Automative Technology May Have Adverse Impact on Climate, Public Health

climate trade-off is much different on the regional scale, especially in areas with high vehicle densities

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Technology
While automative technology is credited with boosting fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, GDI engines produce more black carbon aerosols than traditional port fuel injection engines. Pixabay

New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts, a new study suggests.

The gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine is one of the most prominent technologies car manufacturers adopted to achieve the fuel economy and carbon dioxide emission goals established in 2012 by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

While this technology is credited with boosting fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, GDI engines produce more black carbon aerosols than traditional port fuel injection engines, according to the study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

“Even though emissions from gasoline vehicles constitute a small fraction of the black carbon in the atmosphere, the vehicle emissions are concentrated in regions with high population densities, which magnifies their effect,” said study researcher Rawad Saleh, Assistant Professor at University of Georgia in the US.

The market share of GDI-equipped vehicles increased from 2.3 per cent in model year 2008 to 51 per cent in model year 2018. The EPA projects 93 per cent of vehicles in the US will be equipped with GDI engines by 2025. According to the study, researchers predicts the increase in black carbon emissions from GDI-powered vehicles will fuel climate warming in urban areas of the US that significantly exceeds the cooling associated with a reduction in CO2.

In addition, they believe the shift will nearly double the premature mortality rate associated with vehicle emissions, from 855 deaths annually to 1,599. The researchers estimate the annual social cost of these premature deaths at $5.95 billion. The increase of black carbon is an unintended consequence of the shift to GDI-equipped vehicles that some scientists suspected was based on experimental data, according to the researcher.

Technology
New automotive technology that promises enhanced fuel efficiency may have a serious downside, including significant climate and public health impacts. Pixabay

“This study is the first to place these experimental findings in a complex modeling framework to investigate the trade-off between CO2 reduction and an increase in black carbon,” Slah said. While previous research has reported the shift to GDI engines will result in net benefits for the global climate, the researchers said that these benefits are rather small and can only be realized on timescales of decades.

Meanwhile, the negative impact of black carbon can be felt instantaneously, they added.

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“Our research shows the climate trade-off is much different on the regional scale, especially in areas with high vehicle densities. In these regions, the climate burden induced by the increase in black carbon dominates over the climate benefits of the reduction in CO2,” said Saleh. (IANS)