BIS #7173 ‘Plastic Warriors’ in Action at DB Yerwada

By Mr Leo D’Souza and Ms Pearl Fernandes for BISMumbai

Don Bosco Junior College, Yerwada, Pune, completed its environmentally friendly project for staff and students, ‘Plastic Warriors’, on 20 April 2024.  

This one-of-a-kind project on plastic waste was presented to the Junior College students on 27 July 2023, to actively assist them in fulfilling their environmental responsibilities. A special team of 60 students was chosen for training to become ‘plastic warriors’, with the slogan ‘My Garbage, My Responsibility’ so that they could assist in the collection of plastic waste during the academic year 2023-24.

Plastic pollution is one of the most serious environmental threats the earth faces today. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12  is about ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns, which are critical for sustaining the livelihoods of current and future generations.

Mrs Mita Banerjee,  a journalist and social activist, gave a powerful session in July 2023 on ‘Becoming Effective Plastic Warriors’. The effective presentations were eye-openers for students, who realised that they were the root cause of the problem and that the solution lay in each of our hands. This session became a major turning point for students, who took up the responsibility of saving Mother Earth by acting more responsibly, spreading the word about climate change and global warming, and raising social awareness among the masses.

The college tied up with Rudra Environmental Solution (India) Ltd. to dispose of the plastic waste collected by the college students from their households and college premises and convert it into fuel. Since its inception in  2009, Rudra (ISO 9001-2008 certified) has been researching and developing its Thermo-Catalytic Depolymerization (TCD) technology, converting waste plastic into fuel technology through TCD. 

Under the guidance of the supervisor, Mr Leo D'Souza,  the teachers, formed an effective committee and motivated nearly 800 students to play their part in making ‘Mission Plastic Warriors’ successful. It was decided to collect plastic waste from all classes, segregate it, and send it for further processing in collaboration with Rudra.

Sandesh Borde, a student participant, said, “I realised that while theoretical knowledge might help me in the classroom, my College's ‘Plastic Warrior’ project has helped me become a more aware, responsible, and law-abiding citizen.” Ms Blossom Lobo, the Environmental Science teacher, remarked, ‘Students become active participants and understand their role in environmental conservation. EVS as a subject is more meaningful when done as a project.’ 

The staff and students were actively involved in reducing plastic waste and its effective disposal. This effort helped in diverting at least some waste plastic from landfills and producing fuel with a lower carbon footprint. The students intend to take up the ‘Plastic Warriors’ project with even more fervour in the upcoming academic year. It was a collaborative effort between management, staff, students, and their parents - a small but significant step towards creating a better environment.