Petition update

Victory! We Did It! A Green Mumbai Marathon At Last!

Shilpi Sahu
Bangalore, India

Jan 18, 2019 — It is now 2 days to TMM 2019, that could also be a day of landmark green beginnings in the chapter of mega city events. I am happy to share that Procam International - the organizers of The Mumbai Marathon - have declared the green steps being taken at the upcoming event. The green measures taken by them is outlined in the link attached. Some of the green measures such as online communication and partnering with NGOs for managing event waste has been continuing from previous years and some new measures have been added for this edition.

The most positive actions taken by the organizers are with respect to plastic waste reduction, that can be a trendsetter for other large city events (not just marathon events) across the country.

1 Target of reduction in 60,000+ plastic bottles across the event. There will be designated water refilling stations in the holding area and on the course - Runners can carry a bottle to refill on the run or use the paper cups provided at the aid stations. Paper cup is not a green substitute to plastic bottle since these cups are not fully recyclable due to the plastic lining and also fetch lower value in the recyclable market. Going forward, the organizers could look at reusable cups, although it would require volunteer training in cleaning and maintenance of these cups. Alternatively, compostable cups made of agricultural waste such as bagasse is a better option than disposable paper and plastic cups.
Eventually the success of refill aid station also depends on the accessibility of the refill kiosks, availability/stock of water cans and proactive volunteers who must hold out the refilled cups for runners or help them refill on the go. Let us hope that it will be a success and the learnings can be applied to the subsequent events.

2 Cloth Bags given to all participants and refreshments to be handed out in Cloth bags and to be served in recyclable cardboard boxes - This is a direct effect of Maharashtra state’s plastic ban rules that kicked in last year. It is great to see implementation of laws that will do away with tonnes of disposable low value and often non-recyclable plastic used in carry bags that was used in previous editions of this event.
I hope that the green concepts introduced for the first time in this event will get popular acceptance among the runners and the event will cut down its plastic footprint further in subsequent years, especially in the usage of single use plastic bottles and flex banners and moving to reusable or compostable options.

For all the participants of TMM 2019, my request is to show support for the green initiatives by carrying your own bottle, using the water refill at aid stations, using only the designated trash cans for waste disposal and by sporting a green ribbon/band on your wrist. Your support has come a long way.

I thank the 1.14 lakh supporters of this petition in following this year long campaign of Greening the Mumbai Marathon and being part of positive change.


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