June 4, 2018
COIMBATORE: Plastic bags of different hues floating across drains in Coimbatore and choking them besides their hanging from branches of trees indicate the extent of the abuse despite all efforts to make the city plastic-free.
At least more than 50 different plastic products are used daily, resulting in disposal of more than 40 tonnes of plastic waste.
Pasumai Desam founder Rajendran told The Covai Post: “We are responsible for the destruction and at least the future generation should stand against use of plastic.”
An awareness programme had been conducted among school children where they collected all plastic waste in their houses and were rewarded with plantlets. “We strongly believe the future of environment is in the hands of children,” he adds.
A first step to go plastic-free is to bring the threat to the notice of government officials. Secondly, there should be awareness campaigns through NGOs and volunteers from colleges and schools and finally by avoiding use of plastic products, says Selvaraj, secretary of Athikadavu Nadhi Mempadu Sangam.
“When I go for weekly shopping, I take home about dozens of plastic bags for the vegetables, snacks, detergents and milk products I buy,” says V Rajini (name changed) from the city.
A Rani (name changed) says, “I am a working woman. I do store food items in plastic containers. Even many shopping marts and stores encourage the use of plastic products by giving plastic containers and buckets as gifts.”
“We come across huge amounts of plastic waste choking water bodies while cleaning lakes every week. We try to create awareness by involving residents into the cleanup operations and have found it successful,” says Sanjay Prasad, chief coordinator of Environmental Foundation of India.