The world is changing at a rapid pace and these changes are all encompassing and have a far-reaching impact on our present and future. The model of development that we have adopted is often discriminatory and non-inclusive. Amidst all this, our environment has been completely ignored. The ecology is being gradually taken over by economy with disastrous consequences for the planet. Keeping environmental sustainability in mind, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in collaboration with Tetra Pak India initiated Project SEARCH (Sensitisation, Education and Awareness on Recycling for Cleaner Habitat) to conduct awareness and sensitisation drives in schools in order to instil a habit of reusing, reducing, refusing and recycling amongst school students, teachers and larger school community.
To celebrate the milestones achieved during the last one year of project implementation, TERI organized a closing ceremony on 9 April 2010 in New Delhi. Present on the occasion were Mrs. Sheila Dikshit, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi, Dr. RK Pachauri, Director General, TERI, Jaideep Gokhale, Environment & Communications Director, South Asia Markets, Tetra Pak India , Ranjana Saikia, Associate Director, YEA, TERI as well as principals, teachers and directors of some of the member schools.
While delivering her keynote address, Sheila Dikshit, said, “The children of Delhi have helped us to spread the message on the impacts of climate change and have organised 2500 eco clubs in various school of the region. These clubs have been an active part of various programmes that has helped change the mindset of the students and their families.”
Addressing the students present, Dr. RK Pachauri, said, “I will be addressing to the students for two major reasons, (i) you are sensitive and responsive to the environment issues and (ii) you can be very effective in shaming the adults and forcing them to do the right things. There are issues that we as humans need to be conscious of and take actions on. Solid Waste has serious implications and if we continue to move on the same path, all the large cities in India would require 1o times their area to keep the solid waste. We have to start at the household level to classify and segregate the waste and we need a system that each kind of waste can be collected and disposed in the right manner.”
Elaborating on the partnership, Jaideep Gokhale- Environment & Communications Director for Tetra Pak said “We are delighted about the success of Project SEARCH and extremely happy and proud about this collaboration which includes working with TERI, schools, and our awareness and recycling partners. Today’s youth adopt an ‘activist’ approach and through Project SEARCH we wanted to provide them with a platform to think and act for the environment in their schools and homes, to begin with. Tetra Pak is excited to take this program to its next level and find more such ambassadors in its second phase.”
Twelve students were earlier selected as Tetra Pak ambassadors from Delhi and Bangalore to take forward the message of good waste management practice to the larger community including fellow students, school administration and neighborhoods. For the orientation, the ambassadors went on exposure visits. While the ambassadors from Delhi were taken to Daman Ganga Papers Pvt Ltd in
Vapi, Gujarat, one of Tetra Pak’s recycling partners, the ambassadors from Bangalore visited Tetra Pak’s packaging material manufacturing plant at Takwe, Pune. Currently, the ambassadors are planning to have campaigns, workshop and film screenings. The students were rewarded for their efforts at the prize distribution ceremony. An exhibition of models made out of waste materials by students as part of Kabad Se Jugaad competition was also held. The winning exhibits were acknowledged and rewarded by the Chief Minister.
Project SEARCH was initiated in June 2009 in 60 schools in Delhi and Bangalore to create awareness and understanding on the linkage between lifestyle, consumption, waste and environment. The idea is also to make consumption choices that would ensure the sustainability of the planet in the years to come. The project focuses on the overall concept of ‘Awareness – Analysis - Reflection – Action’ to raise awareness and encourage students to actively participate in the programme. It also inculcates a sense of responsibility in the target group to take ownership of the waste generated by them and make efforts to increase the product’s life cycle by recycling it.
Project SEARCH aims at setting up collection centres in the member schools for the collection of dry waste, recyclables and post-consumer Tetra Pak cartons and help a school become a ‘garbage free zone’.
Main objectives of the programme were:
-- To raise awareness amongst school students on environment in general and recycling in specific.
-- To instil among students good waste management practices.
-- To educate students on benefits of carton packaging that keeps the food safe and nutritious and which can be recycled easily.
-- To inculcate the habit of recycling of waste amongst students thus indirectly help mitigating climate change.
-- To help Tetra Pak set-up collection centres in schools for recycling of used Tetra Pak cartons.
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