Indian Teenager Udit Singhal named in UN List of 2020 Class of Young Leaders for SDG

Published: September 18, 2020

On September 18, 2020, the United Nations named an 18-year-old Indian teenager in the list of 2020 Class of Young leaders for Sustainable Development Goals.

Udit Singhal

  • The Delhi based teenager is the founder of Glass2Sand. It is zero waste ecosystem that converts glass to sand. The system has been addressing the growing problem of glass in the national capital region largely. His initiative prevented empty glass bottles getting dumped into landfills.
  • Udit Singhal started the project in 2018. During this period the demand for glass bottles had dropped significantly due to their huge transporting cost and large storage spaces. Thus, these glass bottles began to get accumulated as landfills. The zero-waste ecosystem initiative so far has produced 4,815 kilograms of high Grand silica sand and has prevented 8,000 bottles from entering into the landfills.

Young leaders for SDG

The young leaders for sustainable development goal initiative is organised on biennial basis. It is considered as the United Nations office highest profile recognition opportunity for the young people who raise their voices and take efforts to combat the most pressing issues in the world.

Glass waste

  • In India the glass waste is classified as non-biodegradable. The Other classes of waste are biodegradable waste, electronic waste and Biomedical Waste.
  • Currently, around 960 million tonnes of solid waste are being generated in India annually. Of this only 68% of garbage is collected. Out of this collected waste only 28% is treated by the municipal authorities. Thus, collection and treatment of waste in the country is poor. The initiatives as that of Glass2Sand should be encouraged to improve solid waste treatment and management in the country.

Impact of waste accumulation

According to the World Health Organisation, there are 22 types of diseases that can be prevented in India simply buy improving the country’s solid waste management system. Waste accumulation leads to surface water contamination, soil contamination, pollution and leachate.

Methods of waste management

Currently India follows landfill, incineration, pyrolysis, gasification and bioremediation to manage its waste generated.

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