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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Hey Virat, do your bit to eliminate single-use plastic… maybe carry your own bottle to the dressing room

The Swachh Bharat campaign, admirable though it is, imagines that it can sweep the plastic away from public places. But where to? The city dump yards have been full for many years now, our villages are the new dump yards.

Written by Reena Gupta | New Delhi | Updated: June 21, 2018 9:58:53 am
Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, Virat Anushka, Virushka, sports news, cricket, Indian Express Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma were spotted planting a sapling together during India’s tour of Sri Lanka. (Source: Instagram)

Hey Virat (and Anushka),

You are a cool guy. I admire you for not endorsing Pepsi – that lethal mix of sugar in a little bit of water – for just the greenbacks. My 11-year-old cricket crazy son worships you. I think you are spunky to have marked the prime minister in your fitness video and if our country gets a little fitter then I have no issues.

But your taking that video of the man throwing plastic and posting it is simply not that smart. You have just taken too much trouble for very little. Come on, you can leverage much more. Where do you think that plastic will go if he chucks it in a less tony neighbourhood where you don’t frequent or even in his dustbin. Another part of your city, the landfills. India produces 5.6 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. Our cows eat them and fall sick.

WATCH: Virat Kohli shares video of Anushka scolding man for littering streets

So what can you do? Hey, millions follow you. How about if you started a campaign this world cup that you and your team carry your own water bottle to your dressing rooms and get all your fans/followers/viewers to do the same? Or that it is not cool to use a plastic straw, plastic bags, plastic cutleries: start a campaign where you have eliminated at least three single-use plastics from your life and challenging a few other stars. You won’t even have to sponsor the campaign. You can use the Net. Use your fans to eliminate plastic waste man. Challenge the Environment Minister to make a law to ban single-use plastic from the country. European Union is planning the same- heck even Rwanda has banned plastic.

The Swachh Bharat campaign, admirable though it is, imagines that it can sweep the plastic away from public places. But where to? The city dump yards have been full for many years now, our villages are the new dump yards. There is no place even in the high seas. I read somewhere that by 2020 there would be more plastic than fish in the oceans. And this plastic will just stay there forever! It breaks my heart! Imagine Nemo getting lost in that. He will never find his way out. That is what your children will see if Nemo gets made now. Is that what you want?

My son bets on you. I too have high hopes for you. Come on man!

Reena Gupta is an environment specialist who has worked with several government and non government organisations including the World Bank. Plastic, pesticides and pollution worry her.

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