Hyderabad: Sri Sarvaraya Sugars Ltd., bottling arm of Coca-Cola in India, along with Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation (RMC) jointly launched a citizenship movement, to drive awareness on plastic waste management. Aligned to the Government of India priorities under the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’, the Swatchata Hero Initiative, is a step towards strengthening the national agenda of responsible waste segregation and management through citizen involvement. The initiative, presently spanning across Rajahmundry and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, additionally aims at improving socio-economic conditions of informal waste sector, raising awareness on waste segregation, influencing attitudinal changes amongst citizens and protecting natural habitats.
With changing consumption patterns and rapid economic growth, there is an ever emerging need to formalize and strengthen sustainable waste management through meaningful initiatives that not just engage with the citizens but mobilize them to action. To create awareness around plastic circular economy and responsible waste management, Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation (RMC) partnered with Sri Sarvaraya Sugars Ltd., bottling partner of Coca-Cola to launch a holistic cleanliness drive across the state.
Under the initiative, several branded kiosks and selfie booths have been set up along with collection vans in 50 wards of Rajamahendravaram. In the first phase which spanned over 35 days, the initiative successfully collected 5 tons (150 kgs per day) of plastic waste from both residential and slum areas. It has garnered active participation from Andhra Pradesh citizens and also gained momentum on social media with participants posting pictures on Facebook, Twitter to further create awareness and engagement.
Dr. A Vinuthna, Health Officer, Municipal Corporation Rajamahendravaram, said, “Cleanliness and responsible waste disposal is a discipline that we should imbibe in our day-to-day lives. To steer through the challenges around waste management, we need to make simple yet significant commitment to this cause at an individual level. Swatchata Hero Initiative is a right step in that direction to call citizens to action and drive an attitudinal change at large. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Coca-Cola India for supporting us in our Swatchata Hero Initiative and helping us spread the message of cleanliness and hygiene amongst the citizens of Andhra Pradesh.”
Commenting on the partnership, Dr. S.B.P.P. Rammohan, Managing Director, Sri Sarvaraya Sugars Ltd, said “The Coca-Cola ecosystem, is driven by the vision of creating a ‘World Without Waste’ and remains committed to its three-pronged strategy – Design, Collect & Partner. We are really proud to liaise with Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation (RMC) to drive, create and accelerate waste collection program in major cities of Andhra Pradesh. The amount of waste being generated today and its subsequent ramifications are alarming, the onus is on each one of us to inculcate a behavioural change at individual level. Swatchata Hero Initiative will not only contribute towards the Indian government’s Swachh Bharat Mission but also towards creating a green, clean, healthy, safe and sustainable environment.”
Encouraged by the success of the first phase, Swatchata Hero Initiative has been extended to another 60 days to spread across 4 major cities in Andhra Pradesh. The second phase of the campaign aims at collection of an additional 10 tons of plastic waste by citizenship movements across Andhra Pradesh. To mobilize citizen participation, Coca-Cola products and merchandize are being distributed on collection and deposition of plastic waste. The collected waste is being sent to a local recycling partner – Shakti Plastic Industries.