Well, India has a reason to be proud of. United Nations chooses Delhi-based teenager Udit Singhal for the latest class of 17 Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Here’s what Udit suggests we, as individuals, could do to make the usage of glass sustainable
While most of us, at 16, get busy dreaming of a movie celebrity or picking up new fashion trends, Udit Singhal got brooding over the glass menace that had clouded the Capital’s ecosystem. “Back then new laws were announced; recycling had become unviable. There were GST rules that were affecting the recycling businesses and then there were transportation costs. Furthermore, storage of glass needed an enormous amount of space. To sum up, the recycling units found it a cost-heavy process and so began to junk all the glass in the landfill. That was what caught my attention,” recalls the 18-year old. “There were two problems with dumping glass in the landfill. One was that it occupied volume. Another was that it took millions of years for the glass to decompose,” explains Udit.
As somebody who is a keen observer of life around him and has grown up in a household that believes in a zero-waste ecosystem, Udit says he got on to researching for about a long time before he found a solution to stop glass causing scathing damage to our environment. “My research led me to start Glass2Sand as glass could be crushed into commercially valuable sand, which eventually could be used in the bricks and concrete and several other construction related activities. That way the storage volume gets reduced by 90 per cent and we get a byproduct that is useful,” he elucidates.
So how much green has he made the environment? “So far, we have crushed about eight thousand bottles which has resulted in nearly four to five tons of sand.” With that he also has a message for individuals to help contribute to the solution of the glass menace “segregation and collaboration helps.” “At an individual level, if one ensures that the glass bottles go into one single dump yard which is meant to direct glass to a right avenue, one could do one’s bit in sustainability,” says the Indian student amongst the 17 UN Young Leaders from across the globe.