Trash To Treasure: This Family Leads Crusade To Clean Beaches Of Plastic Menace

Trash To Treasure: This Family Leads Crusade To Clean Beaches Of Plastic Menace

What began as personal initiative turned into a mass movement; Over 12,000 volunteers join cause.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Saturday, March 30, 2024, 09:51 AM IST
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Trash To Treasure: This Family Leads Crusade To Clean Beaches Of Plastic Menace |

.A family of four has taken on the task of ridding the beaches of Vasai of plastic pollution. What began as a personal initiative to provide cleaner shores for their children has blossomed into a mass movement, drawing over 12,000 volunteers to join their cause.

Lisbon Ferrao, a marketing professional, and his wife Zsuzsanna Salda, originally from Hungary, were struck by the abundance of plastic littering the beaches near their home in Vasai seven years ago. Concerned for their children’s safety and the state of the environment, they committed to clear plastic debris from the coastline whenever they visited the beach.



Despite initial challenges and a lack of support from the community, the family persisted in their efforts. Their dedication garnered attention on social media, inspiring others to join them in their weekly clean-up drives. Over time, their grassroots movement gained momentum, with thousands of volunteers rallying to their cause every Sunday.

With the collective effort of the family and their supporters, Suruchi, Bena, Rangaon, and Bhuigaon beaches in Vasai have been successfully cleared of plastic waste.

“A lot of people have been joining us in this activity from Vasai as well as from other countries like Germany, France, Hungary, Portugal and Denmark. Some people don’t participate in the activity but they have stopped littering on the beaches and we have seen an enormous decrease in the waste in the last few months,” said Ferrao.

In addition to beach cleaning, the family has expanded their initiatives to include the removal of smaller plastic items like wrappers, which often go unnoticed during regular clean-ups. They have also begun cleaning the ponds in Vasai to preserve vital water sources for both wildlife and the community.

Since 2019, Ferrao and Salda have embarked on tree planting campaigns along the coastal areas, contributing over 2500 palm trees to the landscape. Every Sunday, they organise waste collection drives aimed at recycling plastic and upcycling clothes for donation to orphanages.



Their commitment to environmental conservation has earned them support from organisations such as the mangrove foundation, the forest department, and Eyesea, enabling them to expand their activities and reach more people.

“We have started collecting these small plastic particles and sending them for recycling as we do with the bigger sized waste. We tried turning these plastic items into paver blocks but people are still sceptical about using it,” said Ferrao.

Ferrao remains steadfast in his mission to rid the beaches of Vasai of plastic pollution. With each clean-up drive, the family brings hope for a cleaner, more sustainable future for their community and beyond.

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