Consulate General of Switzerland in Mumbai Teams Up With Buy Food with Plastic India for an Exclusive Community Event

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Mumbai: The Consulate General of Switzerland in Mumbai supported the India chapter of Buy Food with Plastic, a non-profit organisation headquartered in Switzerland, to help tackle the pressing issue of plastic pollution. Through a special community event organised in the low-income community in Bhandup East, families were incentivised with nutritious meals to clear their neighbourhood of plastic bottle waste. Moreover, children from the community in the age group of 4-15 years of age were sensitised on environmental issues and sustainability with the help of specially designed activity books, workshops and interactions with volunteers.

Since 2020, the non-profit has been organising community events for residents of Bhandup slums, where they are encouraged to collect plastic bottles from their locality. As a reward for keeping their neighbourhood free of discarded plastic bottles, the families are offered nutritious and warm meals in return. The residents can barter warm and wholesome meals for the collected plastic bottles. Buy Food with Plastic sorts the collected plastic bottles and either upcycles them in their facility to create new products sold in the market or forwards them to their recycling partners such as Bisleri and Recircle. Their plastic upcycling factory has created jobs for the youth in the slums, partly contributing to bettering the slum-dwellers economic situation.

Switzerland is commemorating 75 years of friendship with India in 2023/24. People-to-people links play a vital role in advancing the bilateral relations further. In the spirit of this friendship, the team in Mumbai supported the efforts of Buy Food with Plastic India to create a positive change and raise awareness of ecological problems. This cooperation not only highlighted the robust Swiss-Indian relations between the peoples, but also demonstrated the Swiss government’s resolute commitment to sustainable development, social inclusion, and upholding the fundamental right to development.

Consul General Martin Maier said, “The basic premise of Buy Food with Plastic India is aligned directly with the UN SDGs like ‘Responsible Production and Consumption’, and ‘Climate Action’. The commendable work done by the organisation in educating the children about plastic waste and ecological problems will also inspire the community to live more sustainably. It also furthers the Indian government’s ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan’ initiative. The community event was a great opportunity for our team to volunteer for a social and environmental cause that brought people together.”