HCL Foundation’s Clean Noida Project has achieved many milestones in the last three years of its operations. Through their myriad efforts and endeavours, Noida bagged 1st position as India’s Cleanest Medium City (3-10 Lakh population) in Swachh Survekshan 2021, an annual survey of cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitation in India.

The Foundation has now launched Plastic Heist Campaign to bring awareness regarding the harmful effects of single-use plastic. As the government planned a ban on most single use plastics, which should be in effect from July 1, 2022; this campaign will educate the masses, mainly shopkeepers, about the responsible use of plastic, and the dangers of overflowing landfills that are full of toxic, non-biodegradable plastic and to encourage people into recycling waste, boycott plastic bags, and microplastic waste that makes its way into the oceans and its harmful presence is felt at different levels of the food chain. The campaign shall continue for six months and through this initiative, HCL Foundation will divert kilos of waste from informal dumpsites.

The Campaign was launched in Sector 18 marketplace of Noida on May 7. The plastic heist campaign was accompanied by an open mic, a street play and will act out the harmful ways plastic affects us, and social experiments to educate the masses and create an impact. Hundreds of visitors gathered to watch the street play that was beautifully conceptualised and explained the harmful effects of plastic. The campaign will continue to other popular market places such as Bharmputra market, Ganga market, Godavari market, and Sector 50 market. The aim of this campaign is to encourage shopkeepers in these marketplaces to stop using plastic. HCLF and Noida Authority will recognize the business owners as Sustainable Businesses for working towards minimizing the hazardous impact on the environment through means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.

“I usually come to this marketplace with my friends and was delighted to see such as engaging play and the social message. There are small eateries that use straws and plastic cups and I am sure this will bring in awareness to a more biodegradable change,” said Ritika, a college student.

To make sure that the impact of their initiatives lingers, HCL Foundation has also been making wall graffities to amplify the message and educate the public. The foundation shall also be installing air purifier and waste machines to ensure prompt action and the building of a clean city.

“Citizen Engagement is an important part of Swachh Survekshan and of any campaign citizen participation is imperative. Plastic Heist is part of our social experiment to trigger the message of Say-No-To-Plastic and engage with the citizens in a fun way to maximize the impact and encourage a sustainable change in the city,” said Abhishek Saini, Founder of Those In Need, Implementing partner of HCL Foundation.

This campaign is the beginning and going by the previous success of HCLF, we hope the campaign drives a positive and much-needed cleaner change.