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Mumbai: Colaba Backyard to Receive tetra ‘park’ benches

Three decades and thousands of empty tetrapak cartons afterwards, the Bombay Port Trust’s (BPT) Sagar Upvan garden, situated in Colaba, will have four new, eco-friendly benches for its own walkers and joggers from Sunday. City-based non-profit RUR Greenlife created these benches, after a three-year effort.

One of the collection centres for the tetrapaks
One of the collection centers for the tetrapaks

Taking theories like recycling, environmental awareness and going green out of fashionable party-hearty chatter and putting the actual to them, the playground will sport four seats (you can seat two-three people) manufactured from recycled tetrapak cartons.

These four chairs took shape following a collection effort. Cynthia D’Mello Duties, My Fantasy Colaba, stated, “The public has been invited to follow their tetrapak cartons at Sahakari Bhandar, Colaba, which gave us the room to initiate a group centre. We gathered tens of thousands of cartons of curd, milk and aerated beverages in tetrapaks. We used to make awareness at Colaba-specific events regarding the importance and potential for recycling tetrapaks.”

The tetra, transformed
Renu Kapoor, member, Colaba Area Locality Management, stated, “I began the initiative once I met two girls at a workshop, in which they were teaching participants how to make jewellery out of waste. The public will observe how tetrapaks can be changed.”

“It is important to have a collection centre that is protected or may be secured. In an earlier venue, we noticed that tetrapak cartons got filched. We decided to have those benches in a garden, as they have a tendency to go encroached when they are together with vagrants using them, on public roads. There’s safety in a playground,” she added.

Discussing statistics
To get Monisha Narke, founder-CEO of RUR, the four seats add to their tally of all “at least 80 garden seats made out of recycled tetrapak cartons”.

She also added, “We have 44 collection points throughout the city. We need roughly 4,500 tetrapak cartons for a single college desk and 6,500 tetrapak cartons for a seat.”

Narke said projects like these are a joint effort, involving tetrapak businesses, area for ALMs, collection centers and also the neighborhood. She said it is very important to locals to view recycled products and seats they are inspired to emulate those efforts in their regions.

Seating is thinking
Colaba agents and environmental activists are inviting locals from Colaba and Cuffe Parade to sacrifice their Sunday sleeping and be at the playground at 8.30 am for the inauguration of the chairs.

“Even with consciousness, there is curiosity and scepticism regarding the durability and high quality of items made from recycled material. These chairs will send all doubts out of the window, because the evidence of the pudding is in the eating,” Kapoor and D’Mello stated with a laugh, however, we think the proof of the pudding here will probably be from the ‘seats’.