Wednesday, June 16

Kolkata: College goes plastic-free, sets up vertical garden

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J D Birla Institute on Lower Rawdon Street has made its campus plastic-free and set up vertical gardens, creating horticulture spaces with rainwater harvesting facilities. The Nature Club of the college conducts regular workshops to tackle plastic menace. Also, segregation of waste on the campus is strictly followed.

“We have provided our students with bags made of eco-friendly material. They can use these instead of polythene bags. We conduct workshops and awareness sessions on how to eliminate plastic. Even the Saraswati Puja on the campus is organized using eco-friendly materials. We have vertical gardens in the campus made with plastic bottles contributed by our students. If any plastic waste is generated it is handed over to a specialized outfit, which earns us green credits,” JD Birla Institute principal Deepali Singhee said.

In fact, several colleges across the city have banned plastic and combined eco-friendly measures with education to promote sustainable environmental practices.

At Presidency University, use of plastic carry bags has been discontinued. But authorities admit they need to introduce more environment-friendly measures. Authorities at Ballygunge Science College, University of Calcutta, use paper bags and eco-friendly material at official functions and plastic bags are not used in the canteens. “We use paper bags and envelopes at functions. Material like styrofoam are prohibited,” said Samprikta Bose, an environmental science post-graduation student at Ballygunge Science College.

In August last year, the University Grants Commission had directed colleges and universities to discontinue use of plastic on the campus and introduce eco-friendly measures to promote sustainable environmental practices.

Bhawanipur Education Society authorities have replaced plastic bags with jute ones. At Heritage Institute of Technology, there are separate bins across the campus to segregate waste. The campus also has a 100kW solar power plant, which caters to a substantial part of the power requirement at the institute, cutting its electricity cost.

“We discourage the use of plastic on the campus. There is a robust recycling facility. We also have rainwater harvesting facilities. We adhere to all the norms of the green building standards. We also hold frequent awareness sessions,” said Pradip Agarwal, CEO, Heritage Institute of Technology.

Rajabazar Science College, too, has started using eco-friendly material instead of plastic.

At Presidency University and Jadavpur University the authorities are formulating guidelines pertaining to the use of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials.


Source: Times of India

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