55,000 kg Plastic Waste Collected from South Kerala Ocean Within Two Years
While the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to eliminate the use of single-use plastic products from the country, the plight of the seas off the Indian coasts is pitiable. The marine life is choking with tons of plastic waste that ends up in the oceans which is a serious matter demanding immediate action.
A few days ago, PM Modi’s ‘plogging’ at Mamallapuram beach highlighted the littering prominent in public places. The same condition is underlined by the 55,000 kg plastic waste that has been collected from the sea off the Kollam coast in South Kerala in a time period of two years.
The plastic waste, comprising mainly of polythene bags and single-use bottles is being used in the construction of roads. Harbor Engineering Department (HED) of the Kerala government initiated the project ‘Suchithwa Sagaram’ (Clean Sea). The motive was to address the threats caused to the aquatic ecosystem due to the dumping of plastic waste in the ocean.
The fishermen were troubled with the plastic waste in the ocean as it would damage their boats and affect their fishing activities owing to the large quantities of garbage getting stuck in the nets. However, the problem led to the solution itself and the project was launched.
Four kilometers of the roads have already been constructed using the plastic waste collected from the sea, while 22,000 kg shredded plastic was given to various agencies like Kerala Public Works Department for road construction. The project provided work for 26 women from the fishermen community as they helped in the segregation, washing, drying, and shredding the waste collected by fishermen as a voluntary service.
A research conducted by the scientists of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) in the Vembanad Lake and coastal belts of Kochi. The study shows the presence of a huge amount of macro plastic waste in the bottom areas of the waters.
Last year, a cleanup drive collected 11,173 plastic bottles conducted at an estuary at Veli in Thiruvananthapuram in an area of 1,000 sq. ft.
The presence of harmful plastic waste in water bodies not only affect the aquatic life but the whole ecosystem in general. To preserve marine life, both on land and in water, it is absolutely necessary to eliminate the use of plastic products.