No, it isn't Bring Your Own Booze. In eco-conscious Gurgaon, BYOB actually stands for Bring Your Own Bag, a campaign kick-started by the green group I Am Gurgaon, at the Arjun Marg Shopping Mall on February 1. The project is in collaboration with the DLF City RWA, WE Media, SMCA and Sud-Chemie, a chemical-manufacturing company.
An effort by the people, for the people and of the people, BYOB aims at making Gurgaon free of plastic waste and spread the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mantra.
Taking a leaf out of peace activist Robert Swann’s famous quote — “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it” — the group has coined the “I choose to reuse” slogan as its guiding principal in the war against plastic.
As word spreads on social media, Gurgaon residents are signing up in hordes to support the cause, with some, including children, even volunteering at the first awareness campaign in DLF Phase 1, along with GAPU, the Gurgaon Anti-Plastic & U mascot. The students of Summer Fields School, Phase 1, even performed a Say No To Plastic street play, which was a huge hit with the crowds as it parodied famous Bollywood numbers to highlight the plastic world we live in.
Sudhir Kapoor, a member of the DLF City RWA, and SC Khanna, a member of the Shopping Mall Condominium Association, were two of the first residents to take the “I choose to reuse” pledge. Soon after, several shops, such as Modern Bazar, Fresh Produce, Gopala and Sindhi Namkeen, along with a few shopkeepers at the Silver Oaks Market started urging customers to either bring their own bags or buy cloth ones that could be returned and the money refunded.
The launch on February 1 was attended by Gurgaon DC Satya Prakash, who lauded the initiative as a great way to reduce non-bio-degradable plastic waste.
A number of people told City Spidey that polypropylene bags made of thermoplastic polymer were being widely given out as “reusable eco-friendly cloth/jute bags”, when, in fact, these are as harmful as plastic bags, if not more. They break down into small bits and pollute water, soil and air.
Gurgaon residents — such as Sudha Duggal, who lives in Suncity Heights, Sector 54, and Megha Malhotra, who lives in South City 1 — lent their support to the initiative by offering to counter such wrong information. Others, such as Ankur Chaudhary, a resident of Aya Nagar, and Major RL Bhatia, a resident of Sushant Lok 1, offered to do their bit by promising to bring their own eco-friendly bags.
This is but a drop in the ocean, sceptics may say, but with every passing day, more and more people join the green campaign. It will not be too long before an ocean is formed.