Mumbai: Green activists remove 3 lakh kgs of plastic waste from beaches in a week

Sherine RajUpdated: Monday, March 21, 2022, 11:18 PM IST
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Volunteers working for green cause have removed over 3.78 lakh garbage from different beaches of the city. Afroz Shah, a Mumbai-based lawyer and environmentalist, has been leading volunteers in manually picking up rubbish from Versova beach and teaching sustainable waste practices to villagers and people living in slums along the coastline and the creeks leading into it. They removed and recycled 3,68,404 pieces of plastic and removed 3,78,351 kgs of garbage in this week's beach clean up from Borivli forest, Mithi river, Dana Paani Beach, Versova Beach and Remote island.

"We have been working since October 2015. We pick up the garbage thrown in the environment and do not let any garbage accumulate at all. We work at various locations, including 43 villages adjoining Sanjay Gandhi National Park, 2 kms of Mithi river, various locations in Versova, and beach clean up takes place at the Versova beach and Dana Pani beach. We currently have 102 volunteers and the beach clean up takes place every week while the rest of the work goes on everyday. Everyday mangroves are cleaned up at Versova and other locations, we have five boats used to clean up the floating garbage in the ocean," said Shah.

"We are also training around 70,000 people at Versova to reduce garbage and to clean the accumulated garbage which can be sent for recycling,” added Shah.

A volunteer of the beach clean up, Faizaanali Contractor, said, “A friend of mine told me about the beach clean up in 2018. Initially, I was hesitant. After going for my first beach clean up, I understood that it makes you realise how important the environment is and how we must protect it. Since then there has been no looking back and I have been a volunteer for almost four years now.”

The biggest pay-off for the campaign came when Olive Ridley turtle hatchlings were spotted after the clean-up of Versova beach by Shah and the volunteers. At least 80 Olive Ridley turtles made their way to Arabian Sea from nests on the southern end of Versova beach, none had been sighted on Versova beach in decades, due to the acute pollution problem there.

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