With almost the entire human race caged up inside their homes, waste generation goes down drastically; Closure of industries and restaurants is considered as one of the main reasons.
By Shubhangi Mathur
Because of the lockdown, one would not just see clear skies due to reduced pollution levels but also cleaner roads as the generation of waste has gone down in major cities. The waste generation slumped to 30 percent in the country since the announcement of the nation-wide lockdown.
Various major cities in India such as Chennai, Pune and Mumbai have reported a decrease in waste generation. Since most of the restaurants, industries and multiplexes have come to a halt, not much waste is generated in the country.
Askhay Heblikar, Director, Eco-Watch said, “Because of the reduced human activities in the country, no industries, restaurants or malls are operating and therefore generation of waste is low. It is one of the positive aspects of lockdown including reduction in air pollution.”
Many cities including Chennai have reported that waste generation has nearly gone down by 50 percent in the city. The waste generation in Ahmedabad has also decreased from 4000 metric ton daily to 2500 metric ton as people stay indoors in the lockdown. In Pune, the same has gone down from 2100 metric ton daily to 1500 metric ton daily.
India is a country swamped with waste as it generates 1.5 lakh metric tonne of solid waste daily. Out of the total waste, nearly 15,000 metric tonne of waste remains exposed in open areas daily (55 lakh metric tonne in a year), which accounts for a major pollution hazard for the country. Also, India generates 26,000 metric tonne of plastic waste daily and 94 lakh metric tonnes of trash waste every year.
Experts say that the lockdown can be used as an opportunity to practice minimalism. Sandeep Anirudha, Founder of Aikyam Community for Sustainable Living said, “Lockdown has given us the chance to explore the possibility that we can live our lives with reduced commercial activities and less consumerism. For a sustainable environment, it is important that everyone reduce the amount of unnecessary waste they produce daily. This can also pave way to frame policies which may control and reduce waste generation in the country in the future.”