Green Future Collective partnered with Municipal Corporation of Shahjahanpur for India's first-ever waste-to-value festival. Taking forward the vision of a circular economy, the curated festival brought together artists, startups, products and services in the space of waste management.
Waste is an untapped resource that if utilized as raw material, can give rise to many industries. It is the convergence of the environment and economy for good.
The fest was an amalgamation of several events and activities organised with the aim of increasing citizen participation and awareness about the value of waste, and the impacts not taking it seriously. It was kick-started with a riverfront cleanliness drive on the banks of river Khnnaut. It was an immersive learning experience for a generation of people whose future depends on the health of rivers. The state of pollution and plastic in the water body was an eye-opener for everyone present - what happens to the waste we mindlessly throw away, and how it enters and pollutes our ecosystem and ultimately our bodies.
The entry into the festival was a representation of the waste we generate through the various stages of our life. The 'garbage tunnel', was an artistic commentary on human materialism and disregard for nature. India produces 277.1 million tonnes of solid waste every year, which is likely to touch 387.8 million tonnes in 2030. The goal of setting up the tunnel was to give an individual the experience of the situation of mismanaged waste.
The most popular of art installations at the festival included the tree stump made from used cigarette butts. Close to 26454 tonnes of cigarette butts are generated annually in India alone. It is the most littered form of plastic in the world, which releases toxic chemicals on decomposition. It is a hazard not just to aquatic life, but also plant growth. The aim of this installation was to make people aware of the harms such consumption poses to the environment.
Tree Stump made from Cigarette Butts
Other interesting installations included a crescent moon made from broken JCB glass, a plastic globe made from CDs, a sustainable wedding mandap, wildlife represented through used tyres, and much more. The primary aim of these installations was to create an immersive space where a dialogue about waste and sustainability could be initiated.
With the aim of creating a sustainability discourse, several workshops were also organised on each day. These were geared towards engaging specific stakeholder groups. These included a workshop for Bulk Waste Generators, a fashion contest of upcycled fashion, DIY workshops to create utility products made from compostible as well as recyclable waste that we generate at the household level, and much more.
When it comes to waste, everyone is a stakeholder. Each one of us holds the key to creating zero waste civilisatons. It is in everyone's interest to be waste conscious. Green Future Collective is committed to helping cities and corporations become zero waste, and it is only possible when we as individuals realise the importance of planning and managing our waste at all levels - individual, community as well as institutional.
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Created by team GFC with inputs from Environment Intern Jasmine Dhingra.