Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sustainability Day- 24th October. An appeal to recycle our solid waste responsibly

What is plastic doing to our beaches?

The pristine Varkala beach in Kerala
A close-up view of the waves at Varkala beach, Kerala

"Mother earth is a temple, not a dustbin" screamed a notice board in a tea shop at Varkala beach, Kerala.  

This plastic bottle was found lying quite close by to the above notice

Further away, more bottles

The plastic, thermocol, Styrofoam etc which we so carelessly throw away, finally lands up in the ocean, carried by rain, rivers etc.

When I write "plastic" and hit the search button on, I get a few pages of results.  Here are a few random one liners from those results, which sum up our plastic malady.

"Major cause of floods was Mumbai’s plastic bags choking the city’s drainage system."

"Storm-water drains choked with ubiquitous plastic carry bags are partly responsible for Mumbai's woes."

"The Maharashtra government announced the decision to ban the use of plastic bags across the state after reviewing the situation."

"A landmark 1990 study by the research firm Franklin Associates—says
 Plastic is not biodegradable, it litters our waterways and coastal areas, and has been shown to choke the life out of unsuspecting wildlife."

"The leather-back turtle feeds almost exclusively on jellyfish and cannot distinguish between plastic bags and jelly fish"

Fish and sea birds have been choking on plastic litter

What is plastic doing to our National Parks?

We saw a tiger in Corbett national Park with a plastic gunny bag in its mouth.

If we go by road from Delhi to Corbett National Park, we have to pass a place called Kashipur.  Here, for miles at a stretch, we see plastic gunny bags, just like the one our tiger is carrying.  These are filled with more plastic and more non-bio degradable stuff.  They seem to be piled on the road sides for ever awaiting disposal/recycling.

We need to empower the waste recycling factories and give them visibility before we drown ourselves in plastic waste.

The short video I put together on World Oceans Day, portrays the simmering anger of the oceans through the incessant beating of the Dhol.

Watch it at

And now, we have the Bengal tiger holding up a plastic cement bag left out near a water hole, as if to ask what am I supposed to do with this?

Watch this terrible episode we were witness to at the link

Let us empower the rag picker who helps recycle bio-degradable waste.

Dr.Susan Sharma is the Founder of  

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