Exchange Bottle Caps & Cigarette Butts For Free Beer At A Pop-Up Waste Bar In Goa

Exchange Bottle Caps & Cigarette Butts For Free Beer At A Pop-Up Waste Bar In Goa
Tera Mera Beach

Goa was once a haven for those in search for some quiet away from their hectic lives. Today, it’s like any other commercial tourist destination. The number of tourists visiting the sun, sand, and sea state is drastically increasing every year. In 2017, according to a report by Goa Tourism, more than 77 lakhs (both domestic and international) tourists visited Goa. While this is great for the state’s tourism industry, there’s another flip side to it that’s been brought to attention recently. Most Goa beaches today are criticised for being too overcrowded and polluted. With garbage disposed off directly at the beach, these beaches are a microcosm for the garbage that’s prevalent throughout the country.

However, to address this issue of reckless garbage dumping in Goa, the government has come up with a unique initiative to make tourists more conscientious of their actions and encourage them to clean up by offering beer in exchange for trash! This initiative started in late January 2019, when the state ministry set up Zanzibar shack at Baga beach - its first official pop-up ‘waste bar’ which will offer mindblowing deals. For 10 beer bottle caps or 20 used cigarette butts, you can get a chilled beer or refreshing cocktail. Could there be anything better?

Part of larger campaign called ‘TeraMeraBeach’, such waste bars will be set up at Calangute-Candolim beach twice a month for a limited duration only. Mostly between 4-6 pm in the evening. This campaign is being organised and managed by Drishti Marine, a beach management agency hired by the state government to make Goa cleaner.

According to a report by GQ, Noreen van Holstein, the co-creator of this campaign with Drishti Marine, told IANS that “The waste-bar is a win-win concept. It’s 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,”

While the initiative is unique and refreshing and will certainly attract eyeballs, the long-term effectiveness of this concept is debatable. It will surely help in creating awareness about Goa’s pollution but will it succeed in long run? Or will people soon get bored of this barter-like system and go back to buying their own beers and tossing the bottle caps on the shiny, sandy beaches of Goa all over again?

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