International Coastal Cleanup Day observed across State

As part of International Coastal Cleanup Day that is observed to highlight the need to safeguard oceans from plastic waste, thousands of volunteers resorted to cleaning activity in the beach area stretching between Tiruvanmiyur and Kovalam on Saturday.
International Coastal Cleanup Day observed across State


According to the organisers-the Chennai Trekking Club-Zero Kuppai Movement, this time around, the campaign was more on preserving the beaches for the future generation and to boost tourism by making the beaches in the city plastic-free.
“Around 27.05 tonnes of trash were collected by the volunteers, who were mainly school and college students. The waste remains the same in certain places,” said Hafiz Khan, a member of Save a Turtle, adding, “Apart from beach clean-up, our aim is to create awareness and educate the public on saving the endangered Olive Ridley turtles along with the Department of Fisheries.”
Goutham, a volunteer with the Walk for Plastic, said, “We focused on the entire stretch of the Tiruvanmiyur beach and collected two tonnes of waste. This time, there were many corporate employees who were part of the beach clean-up. Our team cleans every weekend. But as it is coastal clean-up day, we found more volunteers than usual on Saturday. Even the public who visited the beach were also part of the cleaning activities.”
Street plays were also performed by volunteers drawn from various NGOs. 
The organisers said the volunteers involved in the beach clean-up activities requested two simple steps from the government, namely to have a garbage bin placed every 50 metres on city beaches for waste disposal, and to have cleaning machines employed in the beaches.  The beaches must be cleared regularly so that the public will avoid littering the place, the organisers added.
Meanwhile, around 300 volunteers participated in a beach clean-up drive organised by the US Consulate General in the city in partnership with the Indian Maritime Foundation at Besant Nagar on Saturday.
Moulik Berkana, the Cultural Affairs Officer at the Consulate, Dr Alby John Varghese, Regional Deputy Commissioner (South), Greater Chennai Corporation and Captain S Krishnamurthi, vice-president, Indian Maritime Foundation in participated in the clean-up.
The Cleanup Day was also observed at Colachel beach in Kanniyakumari district. Volunteers, including students of Madurai Law college and members of the South Asian Fishermen Fraternity (SAFF), cleared the garbage there, sources said.
Under the initiative of the United Nations’ environment programme, the International Coastal Cleanup Day is observed on the third Saturday of September every year to disseminate awareness on the importance of keeping the beaches clean and to make the seashore pollution-free, Fr. Churchill, general secretary, SAFF, Kanniyakumari said.
Among the garbage cleared, discarded cigarette butts, plastic food bags, wrappers, plastic straws, plastic bottles, old clothes and beverage bottles were found.  During the drive, the volunteers took pledge to play a key role in spreading awareness among the fishermen and tourists to avoid the usage of harmful plastics at beaches. 

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