Officials and students during the launch of the educational waste management initiative at St Alphonsus School in Kurseong, Darjeeling 

Guwahati: In a first, PepsiCo India has partnered with waste management firm Nepra to launch an educational waste management initiative in schools of Kurseong in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district. The programme was inaugurated at St Alphonsus School by Debashish Chattopadhyay, sub-divisional officer of Darjeeling, and Krishna Limboo, chairman of Kurseong municipality, on Friday.

The initiative initially involves 600 students from over 10 schools where each week they will donate post-consumer multi-layered plastic (MLP) at dedicated collection points in school. It will eventually cover all the schools of Darjeeling district.

The project is a part of PepsiCo India’s ongoing initiative to collect over 8 lakh kg of multi-layered plastic by end of this year across four districts: Kolkata, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Siliguri in West Bengal.

As part of the programme, workshops will be conducted as per Nepra’s educational tool kit created to sensitise students about different types of plastics and how to recycle or recover them. The students will also participate in a peer-learning methodology.

Further, PepsiCo India and Nepra will also develop ‘eco-clubs’ in school, and they will recognise pro-active students who will be awarded ‘zero waste to landfill’ badge and certificate during school assemblies. Students who collect the most waste will be rewarded which can be redeemed against supporting social causes like sponsoring the child of a waste picker or in exchange for recycled stationery.

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Speaking at the event, Chattopadhyay said that he was delighted to launch the unique initiative and it will ensure that Kurseong remains cleaner and greener. He further added that the use of new technology and awareness initiatives around waste management will help in managing the issue of waste and channel it into an asset for Kurseong.

In a statement, PepsiCo India’s AMENA corporate affairs director (sustainability) Samir Pathak said that the main idea behind this association is to help provide future generations with the knowledge of waste management.

Further, he said that the FMCG company is actively working across states to collect, segregate, and sustainably manage the equivalent of 100% of its plastic packaging by 2021. Further, PepsiCo’s target is to make 100% of its packaging recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable by 2025.

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