THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: An aerial shot of Vizhinjam is bound to make you believe that the coastal region is pristine. But zoom in and you’re sure to find garbage accumulated along the coast. The volunteers at Positive Change for Marine Life, an Australia-based NGO, have been actively engaged in creating awareness about the hazards of plastic waste for marine life and its impact on human health. As part of their household waste collection service, they have collected waste from the communities in Vizhinjam.
As a solution to reduce the plastic waste menace, the NGO has come up with an initiative to make bags from discarded chips packets.The idea was mooted by Krishna Kalidas, waste management and community outreach officer of Positive Change for Marine Life, after he found huge heaps of chips packets dumped carelessly on the seashore. “Since chips packets are made from metallised plastic, they are difficult to be recycled and are also the reason why these often wash up on shores. I thought of utilising them to make bags,” said Krishna.
The plastic packet is washed with soap to purify them. “We’ve made shopping bags and sacks in different sizes, stitched them to perfection,” he said. The outreach programme officer has already started approaching a few stitching centres near Vizhinjam and plans to distribute the bags among shopkeepers to create awareness about recycled bags. Training local women for a source of income is also in the pipeline.
Besides this initiative, the NGO has also been involved in collecting waste from 120 households and businesses in Vizhinjam and employing 40 women from the marginalised communities. Hundreds of plastic bags collected from the Waste Collection Service in Vizhinjam have been shredded with the help of shredding machines built by community members.