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In This Garbage Cafe in India You Can Get Food for Garbage

Eating a big meal for a pound of plastic. This is possible in India, where the first 'Garbage Cafe' has opened. Here people can receive free food in exchange for garbage. This initiative is part of a wider door-to-door waste collection programme already undertaken. The goal, however, is to eliminate all disposable plastic in India by 2022.

garbage cafe

Eating a big meal for a pound of plastic. Otherwise, eating breakfast for half a pound of bottles you picked up on the street. All this is possible in India, where there is a very special restaurant. In fact, in the municipal district of Ambikapur the first ‘Garbage Cafe‘ has opened.

Here the poor, the homeless and anyone who wants to collect rubbish can receive free food in exchange for garbage.

Poverty Conditions in India

More than half of India‘s 1.4 billion citizens live in poverty. For many, feeding their families is a daily challenge.

According to the Global Hunger Index, India suffers from a level of hunger classified as “serious”. In addition, it continues to have one of the highest rates of child malnutrition in the world. The approximately 195 million undernourished Indians account for a quarter of the global hunger burden, according to UN data.

The Indians also have to deal with the big problem of plastic waste. Every day people generate 26,000 tons of plastic waste. A kilo of plastic, which can usually be collected in a couple of hours, can be exchanged for a plate of curry with rice, lentils and a papadum cake. For half a kilo, customers at the Garbage Cafe can instead receive a breakfast of samosas, lentil doughnuts or stuffed focaccia.

Garbage Cafe: A Solution to the Waste Problem

The collected plastic then arrives at a recycling plant that transforms it into granules. These will then be used to make the road pavement. In India, especially in rural areas, there are more than 34,000 kilometres of roads made of plastic. This type of material is increasingly popular because it makes the roads more resistant to the country’s torrid temperatures.

Just last year, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, undertook to eliminate all disposable plastic by 2022. He specified that the initiative is part of a wider door-to-door waste collection programme already undertaken. In addition, the set of measures is already beginning to free the city from waste.

The initiative has been enthusiastically welcomed by the inhabitants of Ambikapur, who are convinced that the city will become cleaner after this initiative. This is also because there were already people collecting waste from the streets. However, they handed it over to private individuals in exchange for money. Now they would get free food by giving the garbage to the government.

This promise is an important goal, because India‘s economy is the fastest growing in the world. And, in 2015, only 14% of the plastic waste produced in the world was recycled.

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