Why No Bag for Me?

Parki Ar Minda [Geo. No Bag for Me] is a non-governmental eco-educational organization founded in 2019 by two friends with the goal of raising civic awareness in the field of ecology, for which they have come up with various initiatives.

At first, they started fighting against polyethylene bags and the name of the organization came from here. Parki Ar Minda is not just a negative answer to the most frequently asked question in the markets – it is a kind of lifestyle statement. In recent years, the topic of polyethylene has become relevant all over the world, but unlike many countries, Georgia has low eco-awareness. According to statistics, each resident of Georgia uses about 525 polyethylene bags per year, while in Finland this figure is only 4. It takes more than 100 years for such bags to decompose in the soil, but before that time it decomposes into microplastics, which then remain in the soil and water. Just imagine, in a single week our body gets enough plastic to make one plastic card. To mitigate this impact, we are advised to abandon the use of disposable polyethylene bags and replace them with reusable cloth bags.

The activities of Parki Ar Minda do not only serve to reduce the consumption of polyethylene – the organization also works in the field of education. Various events are held such as online meetings, public lectures, environmental clean-up campaigns (including Clean Games) and so-called SWAP parties, which are aimed at exchanging items. Through properly disseminating information, Parki Ar Minda pushes people to treat the environment with responsibility and to amend their behaviour in order to safeguard our future, to make more informed choices and reduce their impact on the environment wherever possible.

Another important problem is household waste. Georgia produces 900,000 tonnes of waste annually, of which no more than 5 per cent is recycled. Parki Ar Minda aims to convince the public that everyone can participate in the beneficial changes. That is why the organization has created an ‘eco-taxi’ project – a service which visits people at home or at work and collects sorted waste for recycling.

Project representatives also teach customers how to sort waste properly, which is very important in the process. Eco-Taxi collects a variety of waste, including: plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, aluminium and tin jars, electronics, batteries, wine corks, plastic cards, and plastic toothbrushes. The goal of the project is to place as little waste as possible to landfills and instead return it to the economy as a resource.

Nowadays, Eco-Taxi has already collected more than 15 tonnes of waste for recycling and acquired more than 200 regular customers. Among them are Tbilisi cafes and restaurants, offices, embassies and other organizations. Their number is gradually increasing, which means that the number of responsible customers is also increasing.

Waste recycling does not solve the problem of overconsumption, so in addition to the waste collection service, Eco-Taxi also performs educational functions. The aim of the project is to teach clients to generate less waste in their daily lives: for example, instead of buying bottled water each time, have one multiple-use bottle, avoid buying food with plastic packaging, etc.

The founders of Parki Ar Minda believe that individual actions can cause systemic change and they do everything possible to implement this idea. In their view, corporate responsibility does not need to be on a very large scale – even small companies can do great things. They support the creation of a sustainable and healthy future with equal opportunities and call on everyone to be more responsible in daily activities that impact the environment.