New DELHI: Delhi schools are organising competitions such as poster making, encouraging students to make speeches, and signages warning about the use of plastic. These are some of the ways Delhi Schools have adopted to raise awareness regarding the single-use plastic ban by the government applied on July 1, 2022.
The Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) are also doing their bit by making their members aware of the plastic ban. Shahdara’s government school principal said that they have been working on creating awareness about the single-use plastic ban in their school by talking about the matter in the school assembly. As summer vacations are over now, the school will inform its student about the importance of alternatives to the banned single-use plastic products.
Other government schools in north Delhi are also planning to organise competitions such as poster making, and speech competitions, to create awareness and make them understand the significance of the ban. “We have been talking about the ban to our students in the assembly but we plan to hold competitions on the issue. Students learn about something very quickly if they get to know about it from their peers. For instance, if a student will give a speech about the plastic ban issue, his friends and other school students will take a note of it while if teachers tell them, it would sound a boring lesson for them,” he said.
In May 2022, the Delhi Government issued an order and asked schools in the capital to make a separate room within their premises where they can store the reusable utensils as per their plan to phase out single-use plastic (SUP). The Directorate of Education (DoE) in a letter to schools said to replace plastic dishes with plates made of steel or glass, or anything else and store them in a different room named ‘bartan bhandar’.
Talking about Private schools, they said they have been plastic-free for several years and take necessary measures. Jyoti Arora, principal of Mount Abu School in Rohini, said they have been plastic-free for several years now and had even been awarded for it during the tenure of Sheila Dikshit as Delhi’s chief minister. She said that the students make paper bags of old newspapers that are kept at the entrance of the school. There are various signages in the school that list the harmful effect of plastic. The school also has a paper recycling unit and the eco-club of school is quite active in coming up with new initiatives.
Sudha Acharya, principal of ITL Public School in Dwarka, said they have been completely plastic-free for the last three to four years. They had started working on it in 2014, she further added. The Principal said that their school students were felicitated by the Delhi government at the Plastic Vikalp Mela that started on July 1 and will culminate on July 3. “Even when buying plastic, the students look for the grade of plastic that they are buying and whether it is bio-degradable. In the school, we do not use plastic folders but paper folders that have been painted,” she stressed.
Atul Goyal, president of the United Residents Joint Action (URJA), an RWA body, said they have been making their members aware of the ban and have distributed paper bags as well. He said that the implementation of the ban needs to be applied on the ground level by the government.