Plastic waste disposal is the most challenging situation that scientific and governing circles have ever faced. Mass production and consumption of plastics have grown at an astronomical rate ever since it gained popularity around five decades back and has carved a special place for itself in almost all anthropogenic activities, from agriculture to space exploration. Available data points out that nearly One million plastic bags are consumed every minute globally and one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute. Various reports suggests that plastic particles dumped in sea will outnumber fish by 2050. The plastic finds a way to human body through biomagnification as recent reports point to the presence of microplastics in our table salt.
Acknowledging the issues of plastics, various steps are being implemented by Urban local bodies, state authorities and central governments all over the globe. Many have indeed banned plastics. Banning might not be an easy solution as other alternatives such as cotton and jute bags, glass have their own negative impacts on the ecosystem as their production involves energy and water-intensive processes. The concept of Circular economy strives to find an impeccable solution by keeping the plastics in a loop, putting paid to the linear chain, which comprises production, consumption and disposal. The formulation of SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production is a major boost for CE and paves the way for future.
Though the concept of circular economy is making rapid progress, even the term is yet to reach millions of population, particularly in developing and poor countries in Asia and Africa where people are still unaware of segregation of waste at source level. Waste management in India continues to remain dismal and with a huge population coupled with increased purchasing power, the plastic menace can prove to be a hard nut to crack for India. Recognising this knowledge gap, GreenWorks have contributed to implementation of circular economy by providing technical assistance to a Self-help group based in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. GreenWorks is a vocal advocate to global efforts on circular economy and sustainable consumption and production. The founder and team have been involved in setting up partnerships, integrating circular design in project framework and exploring various business models which could make positive change in the life of community and make nature more sustainable. GreenWorks is also actively collaborating with start-up ecosystem with particular focus on plastic sector and to facilitate training, market linkage, capital and commercialisation.
GreenWorks collaborated in a initiative with Self Help Groups (SHGs) comprising of enthusiastic women, recycle plastics to produce durable handbags. This creates a favourable ecosystem where the plastic waste is turned into a useful product, thereby reducing landfilling and at the same time providing an option of a cheap and durable product for cost-conscious costumers. GreenWorks deeply focusses on Gender Equality as income for women will empower and enable them for a brighter future. This successful model have to be implemented across more communities and GreenWorks has set new targets to take this successful initiative to other parts of the country and to other developing nations. The Project is initiative under leadership of former mayor of Bhavnagar Ms. Rina Shah.