Some time ago, a café in Odisha was in the news for offering free food in exchange for plastic waste.
Recently, another café has taken off on this ingenious idea. Located in tribal-dominated Dahod district in Gujarat, Unique Cafe too offers free snacks for one kilogramme of plastic café.
If you offer than half-a-kilogramme of plastic, then you get a cup of tea in return, for free. The main purpose of this initiative is to take government-led programme Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan to the rural areas and encourage people to keep their surroundings clean.
Speaking with NDTV, Deputy District Development Officer, NP Patanwadiya said,
“With this unique café, we want to make our district free from the plastic waste crisis. Another unique thing about this café is that the snacks are being prepared by women under the Gujarat government’s ‘Sakhi Mandal’ scheme, which aims to empower women in rural areas. Through this café, we are providing employment opportunities to these women.”
According to officials, the cafe has been receiving a substantial amount of plastic waste since it started this initiative. The plastic is later sent for recycling. If the café becomes successful, this model will be replicated in other tehsils in the district as well, reports Live Mint.
Prior to this, all the waste generated in the state was managed carelessly. As a government official said, “Now, with a plastic café in place, we aim to manage it effectively. The café is more like a collection point where everyone will deposit the plastic waste, to attract more customers, we have simply introduced a scheme wherein, we will be providing free goodies that are snacks, which will change every day and tea”, reports NDTV.
A café similar to this one has opened in Odisha sometime ago, where one can get a Rs 5-meal in exchange for a kilogramme of plastic waste. This initiative was rolled out under the state government’s Aahar Scheme and was flagged off by the Kotpad Notified Area Council (NAC) in the Koraput district of Odisha.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)