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Food for Trash - 34

Places like this already have a presence in some parts of the US and Europe, but what puts this one ahead of the pack in terms of intrigue is that the program then plans to repurpose the plastic waste to build more durable roads[1] in the city of Ambikapur.

If you've never gone really, truly hungry for an extended period of time, you may not know what it's like to be so desperate to food that you're willing to do almost anything. It's literally a matter of life and death, and people pushed to the edge of their limits by starvation isn't good for anyone. Although this isn't a panacea for all of the world's ills, and there will remain plenty which require attention and solutions, I think a program like this is beneficial for all parties involved at lower and higher levels.

On the lower level you have someone being able to easily earn themselves food they can live on, and not just cheap junk food. On the higher levels you have a crowd-sourced initiative to clean up the streets. Littering is so serious a social offense in some countries that in Germany it moves the needle of empathy nearly a dozen percentage points when it comes to helping out a perceived outsider. The study is really showing the power of social norms and littering was chosen because of it being race and culture neutral, but I think it still sends a strong signal.

And plastic in particular is an issue for the human animal, so putting it to task on improving infrastructure, which improves transportation not just of people but of goods and of services, is one of the best things we could be doing with our plastic waste, if it has to be produced at all.

1: https://www.vice.com/en_in/article/xwnb3j/people-can-exchange-trash-for-free-food-at-indias-first-garbage-cafe

2: https://www.inverse.com/article/58124-discrimination-against-immigrant-study


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