This pandemic, the world witnessed a massive shift in consumption habits of people. What we saw was an upsurge in home deliveries and usage of PPE kits and masks. Plastic has clearly become an integral part of our daily lives, even more so than before. What we can do, however, is to use it judiciously and recycle/upcycle it as much as we can. Towards this aim, PepsiCo and Smile Foundation tied up for the Waste No More initiative.
The Waste No More Initiative
This October, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti and Rashtirya Swachhata Diwas, Smile Foundation collaborated with Pepsico India. The aim was to promote and spread awareness about plastic waste management. And where would the best place to start be, but with our little friends. The idea of Waste No More formed the basis of the the initiative. This was taken to students across the country to help build an India where plastic is no more a waste. We connected digitally with 250+ schools in over 50 cities and got them to participate in various thematic competitions. They could write essays, make paintings, make best out of waste, or share videos and audio stories around plastic waste management.
The entries remained open from 23 September-2 October 2021. There was outreach to private and government schools pan India. The competitions were also open to students attached with the Mission Education program of Smile Foundation. Children could submit their entries digitally through a dedicated platform. They wrote essays on how to reuse plastic, made paintings on how to protect the ocean and keep the environment clean, made items with upcycled plastic and other waste materials lying in the house. We even had some children share video and audio stories on how used plastic is no more a waste.
Got the creative juices flowing
Over the course of the initiative, we received a myriad of creative ideas to reduce, reuse, and upcycle. From making a collage with plastic lying around the house, to a poster that depicts how to save our oceans, and essays on Swachhata aur swathya ek mazbut kadi, each entry was more innovate and inspirational than the previous one. Students shared audio stories on how they have seen cows eating plastic and what they have done to prevent the same. Some students made paintings depicting the damage to the environment and how plastic can be used to protect if used judiciously. One thing is quite apparent–it’s time we let our youth pick up the mantle to protect and preserve Mother Earth. The message is quite clear: we truly should Waste No More.
There is wealth in waste. Despite a massive shift in our consumption habits, there is hope if we take Bapu’s message forward. “When there is both inner and outer cleanliness, it approaches Godliness.” This Rashtriya Swachhata Diwas, our children have shown us the path to leave behind a better and cleaner environment for future generations. This is a world where plastic remains a part of our lives but there is no more a waste. Here’s a big hurrah to all who sent in their submissions and many congratulations to the winners.
We need to thank our jury members who came on board to choose the best amongst the best. We had with us Ms. Seema Kohli, a reputed contemporary artist; Ms. Shreya Krishnan, VP & Head Marcom, Aon India Insurance Brokers; Ms. Teenaa Pasricha, a National Award-winning film maker; and Prof. Sapna A. Narula, Dean, Management Studies at Nalanda University. They loved every entry they went through. Thus, it was a daunting task to arrive at the top 3 across all categories.
We congratulate all students who participated with enthusiasm and the organizers from Smile Foundation and Pepsico India in taking forward the beautiful message of Waste No More.