Now, a pop-up waste bar in Goa that exchanges beverages for beach trash!
The second season of the innovative Tera Mera Beach Campaign saw an out-of-the-box beach cleanup idea that has been making waves on the shores of Goa. In Calangute, tourists and locals were given beverages and sundowners in exchange for certain waste material collected. Café finds out more
There are those who litter, and there are those who complain about the garbage strewn upon our beaches. But there’s also that lot that does something about it. We often see isolated beach cleaning ‘day’ campaigns but many-a-time, these are exercises in futility as the same area is seen full of garbage a few weeks later. It is clear that more needs to be done beyond regular beach clean ups. In an attempt to address this is the unique campaign that was launched last year across beaches in Goa, titled #TeraMeraBeach. During the 150-day-long campaign held last year, there were other interesting initiatives such as art installations created from the waste collected and the formation of drum circles, where the sounds of the drum beats and the people singing along helped create an energy that got tourists and locals working towards keeping the beaches clean in a unique and fresh collaborative approach. This year, they decide to take it up a notch higher with an innovative concept that has not only gone viral in the state but on social media platforms across the country and abroad as well. They came up with the unique one-of-a-kind pop-up Waste Bar where trash equals cash, which is operational along the Candolim-Baga beach stretch, where beachgoers can trade waste as currency against beverages like beer, cocktails and other sundowners. Plastic straws, cigarette butts and bottle caps can be used as currency. In short, 20 cigarette butts OR 10 bottle caps (plastic or aluminium) or 5 used plastic straws can be given in exchange for a beer/ cocktail/ Goti Soda. “Last year, we were at the beach for 150 days, drumming with tourists for a Clean Goa. The response last season was phenomenal, with visitors and tourists coming forward to participate, taking back the awareness that it is the responsibility of each of us to keep our beaches clean. Building on the beach experience, we thought of this idea where they would get free drinks in exchange for garbage that they collect. This ensures that they become conscious of the waste that is there on the beach and that trash actually has value! They will leave Goa with a positive feeling and a cleaner beach,” said Noreen van Holstein, project manager. “This year, we have introduced the unique waste bar concept, where people can trade using waste as currency. We want to drive the message that trash has value – if collected and segregated properly. We are also trying to help beach shacks to reduce the use of disposable plastic like straws and make the transition to being a more sustainable operation,” Noreen added. The project was rolled out in partnership with Drishti Marine and has evoked a great response from locals and tourists alike. While at first it seemed like a fun idea to get free drinks and enjoy the beach, at the end of the experience, one leaves with a feeling of having done their bit to clean up the beaches and environment. “We were passing by when we saw this and it seemed interesting enough to try. We had come to the beach anyway so it was a win-win situation but when we started collecting waste, we realised just how much of litter is left behind by whoever visits the beach and it dawned on us that we should be better and more responsible. It is a good message,” said Sabina Menezes, who participated in the first round of the event. “We have always wanted to do something for the environment and have often participated in other beach cleanup activities; this was different in a way that we managed to get others involved too and not just the volunteers who usually do the cleanup. I think the biggest take-way was that some form of awareness has been created as this is what is needed in the long run to help tackle this growing menace, especially on our Goan beaches, “added Francis Antao, from Calangute. The campaign kicked off recently with the first pop-up Waste Bar that was erected at Zanzibar, Baga, at the end of Titos lane, Baga and was held for around two hours from 4 to 6 pm. Since then, more venues in the state have signed up to adopt this waste bar concept. “The waste bar will pop up in various venues in the next few months between 4pm and 6pm. The next waste bar pop-up will be held on February 27, 2019 along the Baga-Candolim When asked if she sees potential for regular restaurants, bars and pubs to emulate the concept of the waste bar, Noreen felt it could definitely happen. “The waste bar is a win-win concept. It's positive for the venue as it is a positive event that attracts a crowd; you get very happy customers as they feel they contribute to the society and get a free drink for it. And for brands, it helps in positioning. It has already started spreading as a friend of mine has taken the concept to the Netherlands where the first waste bar was welcomed with open arms!” said Noreen. In addition to spreading awareness on keeping the beaches clean, setting up a waste bar in partnership with shacks will aid in getting the shacks to be more compliant to adopting environment-friendly measures and reduce the generation of waste. Ravi Shankar, CEO, Drishti Marine, pointed out that after they had run an extremely successful campaign over 150 days in the last tourist season with an intention to create awareness on beach clean-up and teach people about the importance of waste segregation, they felt that they made a significantly positive impact on that front and hence had decided to run the campaign this season as well as it was in sync with their aim of spreading awareness in an engaging manner. #TeraMeraBeach aims to make visitors responsible and aware of the necessity to use bins along the beach, segregate waste and participate in beach clean-ups. This campaign is supported by Goa Tourism, Goa Waste Management Corporation (GWMC) to raise awareness on keeping Goa’s beaches clean.
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