New Delhi: Thousands of students from 80 top B-Schools, including Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B) and Management Development Institute (MDI) in Gurgaon have taken up a new task — keeping campuses and nearby housing societies plastic free.

From making efforts to keep campuses plastic free and mange plastic wastes well to preparing case studies on plastic pollution, from creating awareness in campuses to convincing corporate offices and housing societies on better plastic management, these students have started reaching out to stakeholders. Beginning with Gurgaon, these B-School students will prepare white papers on plastic pollution and ways to tackle it for local municipalities.

The students will further run citizen awareness campaigns, identify suitable volunteers for effective disposals of pet bottles, and also join hands with local rag pickers to ensure effective segregation of wastes and plastics. A pilot project has already started in Gurgaon.

“Gurugram, being a major spot for corporates, companies and rapid urbanisation, becomes a natural choice for a focused pilot project. The fast lifestyle in the city leads to lots of packaged food and beverage intake and hence there is greater scope for ‘Where Is My PET Going’ project," according to Ranjoy Dey, chief executive of Volunteer4India, a social enterprise working with B-Schools such as IIM-A, IIM-B, Birla Institute of Management and Technology in Greater Noida and International Management Institute (IMI) in New Delhi.

“The initial target for Gurugram was to implement this in at least 25-30 housing societies, 10 corporate offices, and five shopping malls," Dey said.

“There are strict guidelines within our campus pertaining to the management of plastic waste. We are meeting key people associated with PET bottle waste management in the city. A white paper will be submitted to the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram to include them in the fight against plastic waste," said S Narang, a student from MDI.

“What was merely a case study initially left on us such a strong connection for the cause. As a team, research on various aspects of the case exposed us to the reality of the mounting plastic waste and need for awareness and action by all the three stakeholders in the economy — businesses, governments, and social groups," according to Gaurav Singh, a student of IIM-B.

“During our interaction with various waste recycling firms, we understood that this challenge also came with an entrepreneurial opportunity," added Swati Agarwal another IIM student.

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