Over 100 citizens, including volunteers, came together and collected 337 kg of litter from Lawson’s Bay beach in Vizag on World Coastal Cleanup Day. The cleanup drive organized by WWF-India saw children and adults turn up on the beach in large numbers to pick up the trash littering the beach. Over 237 kg of plastic, 30 kg of glass and 27 kg of footwear were picked up along with other waste.
Plastic pollution is a major threat not only to marine ecosystems but also to terrestrial wildlife. Single-use plastics have the hardest impact on the environment because they do not degenerate in the environment and tend to accumulate rapidly. This often threatens biodiversity, with high loss of wildlife due to ingestion and entanglement in plastic litter.
Speaking at the event organised at the Vizag beach the occasion of the World Coastal Cleanup Day, chief guest Rahul Pandey, CCF (WL), Forest Department said, “All of us need to make a conscious effort to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics. The Forest Department of Andhra Pradesh has been trying to find an alternative to single-use plastics, even in instances such as the plant wrapping used in our nurseries.”
The litter collected during the cleanup was weighed and segregated before being sent to Green Waves, a city-based NGO which recycles plastic and other waste. The NGO also collects domestic waste for recycling from households in the city. “Waste management in Visakhapatnam is critical. More so because it is a marine tourism hub. Plastic waste from the city impacts the sensitive marine ecosystem around it and we have to be careful about our waste generation because the city’s livelihood depends on this ecosystem. At Green Waves, we have tie-ups with authorized recyclers and we work with schools to upcycle waste that cannot be recycled,” said Anil Potluri, Founder, Green Waves.
The drive which witnessed participation from schools in the city, as well as conservation organizations, was organized as part of WWF-India’s World Coastal Day activities. Speaking on the need to spread awareness among citizens on the plastic pollution and sustainable waste disposal methods, Farida Tampal, State Director of the Hyderabad office, WWF-India said, “Taking up beach cleanup will not be required if every citizen took responsibility for the waste they generate and dispose it off responsibly. Events like these are organized to bring focus on our consumptive lifestyle and the urgent need to give up wasteful consumption”.