Stepping up the drive against plastic menace, the district unit of the Haritha Keralam Mission has launched a novel initiative Pen Friend in Kasaragod.
Under the drive, used plastic pens will be collected for recycling. Its other objectives include creating awareness about waste disposal and treatment and popularisation of refillable pens as an answer to the waste created by disposable pens. The initiative was formally launched on June 11 with District Collector D. Sajith Babu putting a plastic pen in a drop box at the Collectorate for collecting disposable/discarded plastic pens for recycling. “The main goal is to discourage the use of disposable plastic pens,” says mission district coordinator M.P. Subramanian.
He says drop boxes sponsored by private entrepreneurs are being set up at schools and offices in the district. The ‘Pen ‘Friend drive, launched following the good response to an initiative of the mission three months ago at the Collectorate to collect used plastic pens, netted 15 kg of plastic waste.
The quantity of plastic waste from disposable plastic pens in the schools will be far higher, as a high school student is estimated to use three or four pens a month. Mr. Subramanian says the collected waste will be handed over to scrap dealers for recycling. The district committee of the Kerala Scrap Merchants’ Association has offered support to the initiative.
According to the Haritha Keralam Mission district office, earnings from the plastic waste will be used to offer training in paper pen making and environment protection activities. At the Civil Station here, five more drop boxes will be placed for collecting used disposable pens.