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  Past Activities from Gandhi World Foundation
  New Dandi March on Plastic Awareness held in Gummidipoondi on 12th March,2012

It was a delightful sight to watch 78 young nursery school children sporting Pyjama Kurta and wearing Gandhi Cap and raising Slogans on Plastic Awareness with another child dressed as Mahatma Gandhi leading theanti plastic usage march.

On 12th March 1930, Mahatma Gandhi undertook a padayatra to oppose the salt act promulgated by then British rulers to create an awareness against the evils of the act. Gandhiji had led the march from Sabarmati Ashram with 78 followers and to coincide this event, a New Dandi March had been organized by `Gandhi World Foundation’ to create an awareness among the Public against the evil effects of Plastic Usage and Plastic Recycling which causes Global Warming and also
causes adverse effects on the lives of human beings and to safeguard the future generation from disaster, an awareness was created among young children and general public to spread the message of the evils of plastic recycling.

Unlike many western Countries which have enacted strict laws for Plastic Recycling, no Strict laws are in place in India. Himachal Pradesh enacted a legislation in 1995 banning the use of Plastics followed by Haryana and Goa. No other legislations in any other States banning Plastics have been enacted in India. International Coding of Plastics for Recycling have been categorized in to 7 Codes as follows:

  Code 1 – PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)
Code 2 – HDPE (High Density Polyethylene)
Code 3 – PVC (Polyvinyl Chrolide)
Code 4 – LDPE (Low Density Polyethtlene)
Code 5 – PP (Polypropylene)
Code 6 – PS (Polystrene)
Code 7 – Others (Polycarbonate or ABS)

These Codes should be mandatorily affixed in Plastics but unfortunately they are not strictly followed in India. Code 1 and Code 2 are alone eligible for recycling of bottles. Many Countries have banned the usage of Recycling of Bottles with Code 7 Classification but no such laws have been enacted in India.

India’s rate of recycling of Plastic waste is the highest (60%) in the world as compared to other countries (China 10%, Europe 7%, Japan 12%, South Africa 16% USA 10%). Polythene Bags for disposal if burnt irresponsibly releases highly toxic gases like carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide besides deadly dioxin contaminating groundwater and ruin agricultural land. Each time a plastic material such as PET is recycled, its Quality degrades, making it less suitable
for use in food materials unlike glass or metal which can be repeatedly recycled without any significant loss in quality or
contamination. PET bottles(Mineral Water bottle, soft drinks bottle, water bottle served in flight, Jam bottle etc) can be recycled for a maximum of 2-3 times but in India nobody knows how many times any PET bottle is recycled. This excessive recycling of PET bottles in India will easily lead to harmful chemicals causing Cancer. The major awareness of Gandhi World Foundation’s New Dandi March was focused only on this issue of recycling of PET Bottles and educating the
general public about International Plastic Codes.

The young School Students were from AdarshVidhyalaya Nursery &Primary, New Gummidipoondi (Near Chennai - TN). A Pledge was administered to all the children against the harmful effects of Plastic usage. The March was flagged off by the Trustees of `Gandhi World Foundation’ Viz Mr.ML.Rajesh, Mrs.Vijayalakshmi Rajesh, Chennai Advocate Mr.Shyam
Sundar ,Mr.Dilip Kumar Jain and Mr.Promoth. Subsequently the Children raised slogans and marched all over the town of Gummidipoondi and Phamplets were distributed to all the general public. Moreover Cloth Carry bags with Plastic usage message were also handed over to the general public requesting them to avoid usage of polythene bags. Many Volunteers of Gandhi World Foundation also attended the event apart from some General Public in Gummidipoondi Town who also joined the march along with the Children on their own to support the noble cause of plastic awareness. In the end, a letter was handed over by the Trustees of `Gandhi World Foundation’ to Gummidipoondi Town Panchayat President to move a
resolution for banning the usage of polythene bags and introducing cloth carry bags. `Gandhi World Foundation’ intends to conclude the New Dandi March on Plastic awareness by conducting an awareness event in Chennai on April 5th 2012 on the same day when Mahatma Gandhiji concluded his Dandi march in 1930.

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