Kolkata's Newtown Market transformed into plastic free zone. Image Source:-

Kolkata’s Newtown Market Celebrates Successful Transition to a Plastic-Free Environment

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July 3, 2023 , In a significant milestone for environmental sustainability, Kolkata’s Newtown’s CB block community market , a bustling hub of commerce and trade , which used to produce nearly 170kg of single use plastic every month, has achieved its goal of becoming a plastic – free zone following a project taken up by an NGO in collaboration with NKDA.

Over the past few years, Kolkata has been grappling with the challenges posed by plastic waste , as it contributes to pollution and poses a severe threat to the city’s ecosystems.  The Newtown Market, a popular destination for locals and tourists alike , is home to a vibrant array of vendors, food stalls and shops offering a variety of goods. However the excessive use of plastic bags , packaging, and single use items had plagued the market and its surrounding areas. However, through the collaborative efforts of market vendors, residents, and local authorities, Newtown Market has undergone a commendable transformation.

Officials of Kolkata Society for Cultural Heritage (KSCH), one of the NGOs entrusted by NKDA which has been executing the plastic-free market campaign in the market, said they had started the project to turn the market plastic-free within about two years, but the project achieved success in the first three months. ”

The journey towards becoming plastic-free began with a collective awareness campaign initiated by market associations and local organizations. They conducted informative sessions, workshops, and awareness drives to educate vendors and customers about the harmful effects of plastic pollution on the environment and human health.

To facilitate this transition, the market authorities implemented several key measures. Plastic bags were replaced with eco-friendly alternatives such as paper bags and cloth bags, which are now widely available and affordable for shoppers. Vendors were encouraged to use sustainable packaging materials like biodegradable containers and natural fibers instead of single-use plastic.

Speaking on this remarkable achievement, Mr. Rajesh Sharma, the president of Newtown Market Traders’ Association, expressed his gratitude to everyone involved in making this transformation possible. He stated, “We are immensely proud of this achievement. Our market has become an example for others to follow. We are committed to preserving the environment and encourage other markets to adopt eco-friendly practices.”

As Kolkata’s Newtown Market celebrates this milestone, it is hoped that its achievement will motivate other markets and individuals to embrace sustainable practices and work towards creating a plastic-free world, one step at a time.

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