THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An army of eco-warriors is getting ready to rid the coastal region of plastic. With the aim of arresting the entry of plastic to ocean, a Plastic Task Force has been formed by NGO Thanal.
The unit comprising ecologically sensitive youngsters will undertake massive campaigns, beach cleanups, study and analyse the plastic collected from the coasts of the nine coastal districts. This is in continuation with the organisation’s battle against plastic which saw the calculation of the plastic litter index in coasts of Kerala earlier this year.
The Plastic Task Force is being led by Thanal’s Zero Waste and Climate Action Team and was launched by Mayor V K Prasanth on Thursday.
The task force comprises 225 volunteers, with 25 volunteers in each district. A litter index study will be conducted by the group after six months to ascertain the change in nature or quantity of plastic in the coastal areas.
An aggressive campaign for the environment has been charted out by the group.
“Despite a huge campaign and efforts by the government, there is no respite to the usage of single-use plastics among people. Kerala is fast changing into a consumerist state. The ocean is a fragile eco-system and considering Kerala’s connectivity to the sea, it is urgent that the presence of plastic in coastal regions is addressed,” says Raju S, programme director, Zero Waste and Climate Action.
“The idea is to completely prevent the entry of plastics into the ocean. We will be conducting beach cleanups regularly in nine districts. There will be regular activities and two beach cleanups will be held per district in a span of six months,” said Sujith Surendran, deputy programme officer, Thanal.
“Our activity will begin on Saturday with a beach cleanup to mark World Cleanup Day,” he said.
The team will undertake a beach cleanup in the coastal regions of Veli in the capital and Thankassery beach in Kollam. A brand audit on the plastic collected will also be held.
Although the volunteering group will comprise youth from class XII to over the age of 30, people keen on protecting the environment can also join. One can be part of the force by registering in the google document floated by the organisation. As many as 128 volunteers have registered till date.