Delhi: As single-use plastic is banned in India starting July 1, 2022, people must move towards its alternatives. In light of this, the Delhi government has organised a three-day mega fair 'Vikalp Plastic Mela' from July 1 to July 3, 2022, in Thyagaraj Stadium, Delhi. This mega fair aims to spread awareness of the single-use plastic ban in the country and promote its alternatives.
Gopal Rai, Environment Minister, Government of Delhi, inaugurated the event and promoted the government's initiative to curb pollution in India. He further talked about the idea behind a three-day mega fair, that is, promoting alternatives to single-use plastic.
Visitors showed great enthusiasm by coming in large numbers on the first day of the mega fair. Various schools brought their students to the fair for an educational trip. The purpose of 'Plastic Vikalp Mela' was served successfully as people learned about several single-use plastic alternatives that can be used in everyday life to reduce pollution.
The fair comprises various stalls exhibiting products made from recycled waste materials such as plastic wrappers and paper. Many start-ups, NGOs and Self Help Groups have participated in the mega fair and are working towards sustainability. These groups and organisations recycle plastic wrappers and newspapers to make everyday use items such as bags, notebooks, file covers, mats, decoration items and cutlery. Some groups and organisations also use eco-friendly raw materials such as bamboo sticks and leaves of supari and clay.
Dr Ruby Makhija, one of the participants says, "We have started a concept called, 'why waste Wednesdays' where we are translating awareness into practice. We produce cloth bags as an alternative to plastic or polybags. We make these bags using leftover fabrics from apparel manufacturing units."
Some of the stalls put up at the fair were Society for Child Development Organisation, Enactus, Power Delhi, Mitticool Pvt Ltd, Eco Bramrin India Pvt Ltd, Arts Prem, KleenCup, Why Waste Wednesday, Jeevika SHG, Prajapati SHG and Indian Pollution Control Association. Many of these organisations and groups involve the underprivileged sections of society such as women from rural areas, underprivileged transgender communities, and disabled persons, in the process of production.