Green Action Week (GAW 2022)
Green Action Week (GAW) is a global campaign to promote sustainable consumption. It is an initiative by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) and is carried out in coordination with Consumers International (CI). This year (2022) Green Action Week will be celebrated from 3rd October to 9th October. The theme of GAW 2022 is Sharing Community which works for people and the planet.
Fighting plastic pollution and building a sustainable environment through sharing community.
Objectives of GAW 2022
- To create community sharing where citizens are going to put their efforts for society through action-oriented activities.
- To train and sensitize various stakeholders such as consumers, vendors, women etc through youth volunteers and influencers, environmental activists, consumer activists on various aspects to fight plastic pollution, inform them about current laws, finding sustainable alternatives and adopt sustainable options in their lives.
Plastic Pollution and its harmful effects
Plastic has its own use but not without harming the environment and our planet. With plastic being used everyday, it is actually choking our planet. To just highlight the severity of the problem, while you are taking a minute to read this, one million plastic bottles are being purchased around the world. Today we produce almost 400 million tonnes of plastic every year. India’s Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) Report (2019-20) stated that 3.5 million metric tonnes of plastic waste are generated in India annually.
Single use plastic products like water bottles, shampoo bottles, milk packets, food packets, cutlery etc which are now an integral part of our lives is harming the environment. Most of us use these everyday without even thinking where they might end up to. The plastic waste which eventually lands up in oceans and seas are major contributors to ocean pollution and harming the marine life. Plastics do not undergo degradation and therefore stays in the soil for several years thereby affecting the soil fertility. Improper plastic disposal also block the pipes and the drains causing waterlogging.
Addressing the Problem
According to a notification issued by Union Ministry of Environment, forest and climate change, Government of India single use items such as plates, cups, glasses, forks, spoons, knives etc are banned from July 1st ,2022. “The manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of following single-use plastic, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, commodities shall be prohibited with effect from the 1st July, 2022,’’ says the Ministry notification.
This movement gives a huge scope to sensitize various stakeholders such as housewives, vendors, consumers about alternatives available, sustainable resources to use and to meet the needs and how to contribute to environment friendly practices through community efforts.
WHAT IS SHARING COMMUNITY?
With the theme “Sharing Community”, Green Action Week seeks to highlight practical examples of more sustainable ways to access goods and services. People have also realised that adopting sustainable practices and reducing plastic consumption in their lives is the best gift that one can give themselves and to the environment.
Sharing Community brings people from diverse backgrounds together despite various limitations to put action oriented efforts through empathy and collaboration. Sharing is a concrete example of a more sustainable consumption culture.
Environmentalist led action oriented workshop to sensitize and educate people on :
- Existing laws on single plastic usage and which products comes under single plastic
- Use of sustainable products in our day to day lives
- Green labelling in India and the products that fall under it
Young volunteers led action oriented workshop will :
- Disseminate information about single use plastic and other products harmful for environment and how to choose sustainable, green products.
- To Clean plastic from nearby surroundings and reaching out to vendors to make them aware about laws on single use plastic and provide alternatives to customers and also how to disseminate information to customers not to use plastic ,use alternatives
Women led action oriented workshop will :
- Help women find out sustainable options in their kitchen and to replace single use plastic or by using existing resources to contribute to sustainability.
- Demonstrate recycling of plastic and turning them into useful product using available resources.
- Inform them about various recyclers and how they are contributing to environment.
- Sensitized and informed consumers will be contributing towards environment.
- Sharing community efforts will lead to strengthening the bond among various groups and stakeholders and entire community will be benefitted while tacking environmental problem.
- Responsible disposal and recycling in safe way contributing to environment with trainers, environmentalists, consumer activists, practicing entrepreneurs who are recycling the products using sustainable alternatives.
- Vendors and consumers both will be sensitized to opt for alternatives and contribute towards environment through sharing community efforts.