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(Blog 3 of 5) 5 Gyres in India: Delhi Environmental Leadership Summit

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50 students from 5 schools throughout New Delhi came together for a two-day summit on plastic pollution solutions.

Minar is our expert.  He’s a ragpicker living in the Vivekananda Camp across the street, but I would refer to him more as an environmental engineer.  He is here to tell the students what is valuable and what is not.  What he will pick up “YES”, and what he will not “NO”.  He is the last step of recovery before plastic goes to the sea.   We walked over to the corner of the cam where he sorts trash, where he told students what the value of products are.


“Plastic bag,2 rupies per kg,” he said.

“Plastic bottle, 10 rupies per kg.  Plastic cup 3 rupies per kg.  Sauce pack…. zero.”

He leg students around the blog to pick up trash on the ground.  “All of this is zero,” he said, holding up a piece of styrofoam, another sauce pack, a straw and a candy wrapper.  The students put them in their pockets.

The next day we were visited by two organizations, Chintan and Swecha.  Chintan is focused on the social justice of rag pickers.  The give ragpickers id cards, phone numbers to call if they are wrongly arrested (which often happens) and negotiates with plastic waste middle-men to make sure the ragpickers get a fair deal.  Thanks to Chintan ragpickers have a voice. Swecha is focused on the environmental impact of plastic waste on the Yamuna River and  the watershed that feeds it.  They have plenty of environmental programs with regional NGO’s, schools and community programs.


The students now had enough information to utilize for their campaigns, both environmental and social justice connections. The then created campaign PSA’s about redesigning products and systems to reduce plastic pollution.

Your straw your choice

Let’s reinvent- Paper labels

Ketchup Container
A Label Too Much
The problem with plastic labels
Plastic chocolates
Save the environment
Death by chocolate


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One Response

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