It doesn’t take much to motivate people who really care about the environment to do a clean-up job. But considering how much waste we produce (and then litter around), the authorities need more than just a handful of people on the deck. And it’s tough to attract such numbers.
You can’t offer them money because then it’ll become a sort of employment, which then comes with its own set of complications. You can’t ask them to do it for free, because let’s be real, all of humankind isn’t that virtuous. However, if you offer them free food and beverages, then you’ve got a deal.
According to The Weather Channel India, a bar in Goa is offering free beer in exchange for waste extracted from the beach. The idea is to create awareness about cleanliness, while doing the cleaning. Noreen van Holstein who started the campaing with Drishti Marine, said,
“The waste-bar is a win-win concept. It is 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.”
Drishti Marine is a private beach management agency that’s working with Goa’s tourism ministry to control the “garbage menace” on the beaches. The initiative began on January 30th at the Zanzibar shack, located at the beach end of Tito’s Lane in the North Goan beach village of Baga. And the funny thing is that it allows you to bypass the Rs. 2000 drinking fine, if you collect 10 beer bottle caps or 20 used cigarette butts or 5 used plastic straws.
Van Holstein says that waste-bars aren’t a new concept. Netherland did it many years ago, and the idea has spread throughout the world. And she thinks it’s the best to let people avail free beer while keeping the beaches clean.
“People come to Goa for two things: beach and the bar. So let’s give them what they come for – 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 clean beach.”
The concept of this waste-bar will be adapted by various other venues in the next few months.
Nearly 8 million tourists arrive every year to Goa’s beaches, and the garbage that they produce has forced the government to take the help of Dristhi Marine. And although there are rumblings between the private agency and the government, CEO Ravi Shankar is hopeful that this campaign will make Goa clean again. He said,
“We ran an extremely successful campaign over 150 days in the last tourist season with the intention of creating awareness on beach clean-up and teach people about the importance of waste segregation. We made a significantly positive impact on that front and hence have decided to run the campaign this season as well.”
Over the last few weeks, the government has been facing a lot of heat for not being able to take care of the garbage. And that’s hurting the travel and tourism industry stakeholders. But that isn’t diminishing the private organisation’s optimism, as they’re turning the waste into musical instruments and keeping the mood high.
Netizens who have or are planning to visit Goa, are endorsing this movement.
— Karanvir Bohra (@KVBohra) February 5, 2019
— Sahil Goyal (@trvlrsahil) February 4, 2019
— Bidisha Kulshrestha (@bidishalolo) February 4, 2019
A great idea and initiative..👏👏 https://t.co/jrMx78TBaS
— i_stan_memes (@ashutoshiscool) February 5, 2019
Love this! https://t.co/4ihQrVoTlt
— Ridham Pathak (@Ridhampathak) February 4, 2019
That's a deal. https://t.co/FkQGmLRAZ4
— Himanshu (@Himansh83891303) February 5, 2019
Most coastal regions in India attract tons of tourists every month and if you’ve been there, you know how they look like. So, maybe the tourism departments of those states can adopt this method of urging tourists to help keep the environment clean. And in case they don’t want their guests to get drunk, they can offer other beverages and food items that’s in line with their cultural aesthetic.