Ten tons of plastic waste were cleared away during a three-day Blue Challenge initiative led by students and volunteers as part of International Day of Forests, starting March 21.
A series of programs were opened on March 21 by Wildlife Warden and Director Bakhan Jagadish Sudhakar, Additional District Collector Praveeh Kumar and Deputy Superintendent of Police Deepak Siwach. As part of the events, 150 olive ridley sea turtles were released on the Dhanuskodi coast.
Beach cleaning activities were started and cloth bags as an alternative to plastic carrier bags were distributed to students, eco-development committee members and fishermen in Dhanuskodi.
Pupils and student volunteers from 252 villages of the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve Trust eco-development committee took part in the three-day beach clean-up, collecting 10 tonnes of plastic waste, including water bottles and tote bags. This is the first time such a large amount of plastic waste has been collected during the cleanup in Ramanathapuram district.
“The plastic waste would be handed over to the Ramanathapuram Municipality Landfill to lay roads,” said Mandapam Forest Range Officer G. Venkatesh.
Based on the amount of plastic materials collected by individual students and eco-development committee members, prizes and certificates were distributed by Ramanathapuram collector Shankar Lal Kumawat and Mr. Sudhakar on Friday.
Eco-development officer Ganesalingam, forest warden and anti-poaching observer were present.