Three women have stopped 7.5 lacs of empty milk packets from polluting our planet. The three friends help recycle the packets under the Milk Bag Project.
A small step brings a major change. That is exactly what happened after a viral social media post inspired three ladies to save about 7.5 lakh plastic milk packets from damaging the environment.
This post warned readers not to slit the corners of milk packets in order to empty the liquid out. It was proposed that instead of cutting all the way through, a little slit is adequate to empty it, and that by not cutting all the way through, a great amount of plastic fragments might be saved from littering the earth.
In 2019, three friends living in the same Mumbai neighbourhood received this post as a WhatsApp forward. Kunti Oza, Hansu Pardiwala, and Chitra Hiremath were inspired and founded the Milk Bag Project.
According to Kunti, the task that the post was advocating was not difficult. And they realised that milk consumption in the city was certainly high because the majority of the trash on the beaches appears to be made up of such packets. They talked about it amongst themselves and decided, “Why not act on this together?”
While the last piece discussed leaving bits of plastic on the packets, this effort was aimed to take it a step further and commit such packets to recycling. They started with their own homes. Eventually, a video detailing the activity’s procedure was developed.
People were requested to wash, dry, and keep full milk packets instead of tossing them away as part of the Milk Bag Project. The trio would come over at the end of the month to collect these packets and deliver them to a plastic recycler.
Chitra claims that they shared the video with their society groups and other WhatsApp groups in order to reach as many people as possible.
This is not a new initiative for these women. They saw an opportunity in the field of plastic management after contributing to environmental conservation and garbage management for many years. The three friends eventually decided to pool their resources and passion to start spreading awareness in the recycling of empty milk packets.
According to Kunti, the project has two recyclers on board: Dalmia Polypro and Shakti Plastics. The initial stages were free of charge, but they later pooled funds to hire two personnel in charge of the gathering procedure.
Their inventiveness was useful in logistics. But, what was rewarding in the face of challenges is their perseverance.
An campaign of this kind needed people to break a deeply ingrained habit as well as spend time to plastic recycling. Hansu stated that it was only through consistent efforts that they were able to gradually elicit responses.
Another issue they encountered was with recyclers. Such sellers will not accept plastic weighing less than 80 to 100 kilogrammes. As a result, until the collection reached the requisite quantity, the crew was forced to keep the packets in their homes.
By now, these women have enlisted the help of 82 organisations, including residential colonies, eateries such as Leopold Cafe and Hotel Diplomat, and local tea dealers.
Kunti claims that people from Bangalore, Delhi, and Thane are now sending recyclable packets to the Milk Bag Project via postal service.