Young Activist Aditya Mukarji Leads the Charge Against Plastic Pollution

In a world where plastic pollution poses a grave threat to our environment, one young hero stands out, determined to make a difference. Meet Aditya Mukarji, a 20-year-old from Gurgaon, India, whose passion for protecting our planet has led him on an incredible journey of activism against plastic waste.


It all began when Aditya was just 13 years old. Inspired by his mentor, Ms. Bharati Chaturvedi, Aditya became acutely aware of the harmful effects of plastic pollution. He realized that even small actions could have a big impact. Engulfed with this knowledge, Aditya went on a mission to tackle plastic waste one step at a time.

Aditya's first initiative was the #RefuseIfYouCannotReuse campaign. He went door-to-door, urging businesses in the hospitality sector to stop using single-use plastics like straws, stirrers, and cutlery. His efforts paid off, and within months, he had convinced numerous establishments to switch to eco-friendly alternatives.

But Aditya didn't stop there. In 2019, he interned with UNDP India, where he focused on plastic waste management. He successfully initiated agreements for recycling over 33 tonnes of plastic waste, earning recognition from the United Nations. Aditya's dedication hasn't gone unnoticed. He has been honoured with numerous awards, including Youth Mentor for National Geographic, EARTHDAY.ORG Youth Ambassador, and UNEP Plastic Tide Turner Champion, among others. These accolades highlight his tireless efforts and serve as a testament to his commitment to the cause. 

In August 2019, Aditya was honored with the role of a youth mentor for a collaborative campaign between the Chintan group and
National Geographic titled "A Million Yays for the Oceans and a Million Nays for Single-use Plastics." Additionally, he actively participated in various waste segregation initiatives and plastic awareness campaigns held at prominent venues such as PVR Cinemas and Dastkar in Delhi.

Aditya's philosophy is simple yet powerful: "Refuse If You Cannot Reuse." He believes in the power of individual action and advocates for "Individual Social Responsibility." He shows us that each of us has the power to make a difference in our own lives and inspire others to do the same. Despite, facing challenges along the way, such as cost issues and a lack of awareness, Aditya remains undeterred. His determination to create a plastic-free world has already made a significant impact. To date, he has replaced nearly 5 lakh plastic straws with eco-friendly alternatives and persuaded over 150 establishments to go plastic-free.

In his quest to create a plastic-free world, Aditya has partnered with a diverse range of establishments, including the Park and Lalit group of hotels, Claridges, The Delhi Golf Club, and PVR Cinemas, among others. His relentless efforts have resulted in the replacement of millions of plastic straws and other single-use plastics.

Using social media like Facebook, Aditya made a special group called "The Alternatives" to talk about why plastic is bad and how we can use less of it. When someone asked him about the problems he faced, Aditya said, "At first, it was hard to balance school with my activism. I worked after school and even on weekends. It was busy, but I stayed motivated."

Aditya's Facebook group helped lots of people learn about the importance of reducing plastic. He shared interesting posts and had chats about why it's important to protect our planet. Even though it was tough at times, Aditya kept going because he believed in his cause. His work on social media didn't just stay online. Aditya also organized events and worked with others to make a real difference. His dedication showed everyone that even young people like him can make a big impact.

Despite facing obstacles like balancing school and activism, Aditya didn’t give up. He kept working hard because he knew that his efforts were making a difference. Today, Aditya continues to inspire others to join the fight against plastic pollution, showing that every effort counts in making our world a better place.

Currently, Aditya continues his advocacy work, focusing on empowering youth and driving systemic change. He remains actively involved in environmental initiatives, collaborating with organizations and communities to promote sustainability.

Aditya's story is an inspiration to us all, reminding us that no matter our age, we can be agents of change. Through his passion, dedication, and unwavering commitment, Aditya Mukarji is truly a green crusader, leading the chance to save our planet, one straw at a time.

Written By:

Saroj Sharma

Saroj has an experience of over 9 years working in the development sector as a social worker, educator and an independent researcher. She has worked extensively with the marginalized community in India and Nepal. She is an avid reader and takes a profound interest in writing, preferably human stories.

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