Pay for meals with plastic waste at the ‘Garbage Cafe’

Posted on 26 July 2019

A new cafe in the city of Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh, India is trying something new to address poverty, hunger and plastic pollution.

Dubbed the ‘Garbage Cafe’, this eatery it is an initiative of the Ambikapur Municipal Corporation, India Today reported.

This initiative will provide the state’s poorest people, including ‘rag-pickers’ or waste material collectors, to get a meal in exchange for plastic waste they collect.

Breakfast will ‘cost’ half a kilogram of plastic, and a more complete meal will be provided for every kilogram brought in.

‘Our door-to-door waste collection process is already in place,’ explained Ambikapur’s mayor, Ajay Tirkey. ‘We also re-sell plastic. The initiative will become successful. In the budget, we have allocated 600,000 rupees [over R12,000] for the cafe.’

Residents and local opposition parties are divided on the matter of the city’s cleanliness (some think it’s clean enough) and some think it will fail, as those same waste collectors could still turn a profit for the waste collected. The impact of this clever initiative on the environment, however, can only be positive.


Image: Unsplash

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