Pune: After successfully hosting four out of six Indian Premier League (IPL) home games of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the MCA International Stadium in Gahunje, the authorities have done an exceptional job in reducing the plastic waste generated on a match day by a whopping 90 per cent.
The ambitious plan of the Maharashtra government to ban all plastic carry bags and single-use plastic items such as disposable plates and cutlery, food packaging and dozens of other items, was still in its early days when Mumbai hosted the opening IPL match on April 7.
Plastic waste littered all around the stands that day raised serious doubts about the feasibility of its implementation at such a level. However, Pune was announced as the designated home ground of Chennai Super Kings within a week owing to the Cauvery water dispute and the question of plastic waste once again came to the fore at the Maharashtra Cricket Association’s (MCA) stadium which would host the games.
Down to 1 truck
According to a source involved in managing the matches in Pune, without the ban on plastic items, the match day would have generated four trucks full of waste mostly consisting of plastic.
However, with the implementation of the plastic ban, the requirement after a match day has come down to just one truck. “While other waste is still generated which needs to be taken care of, the amount of plastic in the trash has come down by almost 90%,” he said, on condition of anonymity.
Apart from waste generated by plastic glasses, whatever waste is generated after the hospitality services provided by the local vendors, consists of cutlery and wrappings mostly, used to serve the food and is completely disposable.
The flags which are given to the fans at the stadium by the franchise are made of cloth and paper. Although most of them go into the dustbin at the end of the day, it is not harmful to the environment.
Gaurav Upare, one of the spectators, welcomed the change. “Providing water using stainless steel is certainly a positive change, It will definitely help reduce the plastic wastage and it should continue henceforth,” he added.
Prajakta Sangoram too felt that replacing over 1 lakh plastic cups is a really big step and it will help in the long run.
What is remarkable on the part of MCA is that they have implemented the rule effectively and efficiently, whereas the other MCA (Mumbai Cricket Association) has failed to do that so far, as the plastic is still being used at large at the Wankhede Stadium which is the home of the Mumbai Indians.
† What has made the biggest difference is that Maharashtra Cricket Association has stopped providing 1,20,000 units of disposable glasses for drinking water. Instead, they provide stainless steel glasses chained to portable water jars, from where spectators can quench their thirst.
† The minimalistic use of plastic in packed beverages and drinking water is in the hospitality boxes, the press box and the dressing rooms of the teams.