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Manchester and France midfielder Paul Pogba
Manchester and France midfielder Paul Pogba

Mood: How the Lounge team is feeling this week

From the government’s plan on reducing single-use plastic to recent incidents of racism in European football, the Lounge team looks at some of the highlights of the week

Kicking racism out

In April, Fifa president Gianni Infantino released a statement saying, “Racism has no place in football, just as it has no place in society either". Months later, incidents involving Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku, France’s Paul Pogba and Chelsea players Tammy Abraham and Kurt Zouma have rocked the sporting world. Despite organizations like Kick It Out, it’s shocking to see the racial abuse players are still subjected to. Clubs, professional leagues and associations need to stand by the players, even if it means walking off the pitch or abandoning a match in protest.—NS

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Reduce, reuse, recycle

The Union government’s decision to stamp out single-use plastic from 2 October is much needed at a time when the widespread use of plastics and their unscientific disposal are proving to be one of the gravest threats to the environment. The government will impose a total ban on single-use plastic and has asked all urban local bodies to collect and segregate plastic waste. The plan also involves finalizing the policy for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which will ensure that brands that use plastic, including e-commerce companies, take charge of the plastic waste they generate through robust recycling programmes. Reducing the amount of single-use plastic is not as difficult as it may sound—there are many innovative products that can, and should, replace all-pervasive plastic.—SB

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Walk of shame

Recently, Bengaluru street artist and civic activist Baadal Nanjundaswamy conceptualized and released a video in which theatre actor Poornachandra Mysore—dressed in a silver astronaut suit—is shown walking in slow motion over potholes in Bengaluru’s Herohalli area. The video, circulated widely on social media, prompted immediate road repairs by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP). This isn’t the first time Nanjundaswamy has focused attention on the city’s civic infrastructure. He has placed life-sized crocodiles in potholes, disguised them as paradisiac pools with mermaids, and drawn cobwebs around them. Even though potholes are known to kill thousands of people every year, and governments do undertake road rebuilding, it is unique interventions like these that seem to get the job done faster.—SL

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Understanding consent

A bewildering order issued by the Rajasthan Human Rights Commission earlier this week urged the government and human rights organizations to “protect women from the harms of live-in relationship through intensive awareness campaigns". If this was not intrusive enough, the order went on to say that such relationships were against women’s human rights as they could be treated as “concubines". The commission asked the government to come up with a law on the eligibility of live-in relationships. When the past year has seen instances of mob lynching, among other crimes, in the state, it might be better for the commission to focus on real cases of human rights violations rather than scrutinize consensual adult relationships.—AB

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