Cannot Stop Using Plastic? Odisha's 'Walking Dustbin' Has A Message For You

Bishnu Bhagat dresses up in colourful polythene bags to get his message across

Odisha’s “chalta firta dustbin” (walking dustbin) would rather own the nickname, than see people around him ruin the environment. Bishnu Bhagat, a 36-year-old man who is happy to dress up in colourful polythene bags, and become the butt of most jokes in the neighbourhood, if his message “Save Future, Don’t Use Polythene Bags” gets across.

With the same tagline on his clothing, Bhagat frequently visits schools and meets children in order to raise awareness about the harmful impact of polythene on our environment.

Wondering why Bhagat would subject himself to ridicule for the sake of saving the planet? “I noticed a cow eating food wrapped in polythene bags. Along with the food, it would also eat the polythene. A few days later, it died. This event stirred me and I decided to do my bit for the environment and the animals,” Bhagat, a resident of Baripada told ANI.

Bhagat’s efforts to get more people to give up using plastic is also appreciated by some. Aloka Dutta, the principal of a school in Mayurbhanj, claims that students are usually excited to see him because of his getup. “I appreciate Mr Bhagat’s unique idea of dressing himself up with polythene bags to draw attention. This way, he had children’s interest and they learnt an important life lesson from him,” she said.

Odisha had imposed a plastic ban in six states in October. The sale, storage and manufacture of plastic had been banned as the state set a target to go plastic-free in the next two years. The ban ensured that no one would be able to sell, manufacture and import or stock plastic and polythene items once the restriction comes into force. Those violating this order would be facing a five-year jail sentence with a penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh.

“Traders dealing in plastic bags have been given time till November 30 to do away with the remaining products. Appropriate action would be taken if anyone is found selling these items,” the senior official had explained earlier in a PTI report.