Ten tonnes of plastic waste was collected from the shores of the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve during a three-day Blue Challenge initiative undertaken by students and volunteers as part of the International Day of Forests observed from of March 21.
A series of programs were inaugurated by Wildlife Warden and Director Bakhan Jagadish Sudhakar, Additional District Collector Praveeh Kumar and Deputy Superintendent of Police Deepak Siwach on March 21.
Beach clean-up activities have been initiated and cloth bags as an alternative to plastic carrier bags have been distributed to students, members of the Ecological Development Committee and fishermen in Dhanuskodi.
School and middle school students, volunteers from 252 villages of the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve Trust ecological development committee participated in the beach cleaning activity for three days, when they collected 10 tons of plastic waste, including water bottles and carrying bags. This is the first time that such an amount of plastic waste has been collected during the cleaning activity in Ramanathapuram district.
“The plastic waste would be handed over to the solid waste landfill run by the Ramanathapuram Municipality for the laying of the roads,” said G. Venkatesh, Mandapam Forest Estate Manager.
Based on the amount of plastic materials collected by individual students and members of the eco-development committee, prizes and certificates were distributed on Friday by Ramanathapuram collector Shankar Lal Kumawat and Mr. Sudhakar.
Eco-development officer Ganesalingam, forest rangers and anti-poaching watchers were present.