Twenty-two NGOs are joined by citizens and students to spread the message

When you are enjoying an evening out on the beach make sure you dump any garbage only in a dustbin. It is only a short walk away and will go a long way to keep our city clean. This is the message a number of concerned citizens tried to spread at the Coastline Cleaning Campaign-II organised on Sunday at Ramakrishna Beach.

Twenty-two NGOs were joined by concerned citizens and students in a drive to not only clean up the beach but also spread awareness about the harmful effects of strewing garbage.

Watching someone clean up the mess you have made is embarrassing and will hopefully teach people not to litter, said Bhaskar a senior citizen who was appalled by the mess created a few days ago during the Vizag Olympic Run.

According to Santosh P. of Ken foundation which is a part of Vizag NGOs 150 volunteers and over 50 students along with the general public participated. P.V Ramana Murthy, Chief Medical officer Health, GVMC also participated.

The clean up, though a success, can be avoided if every visitor to the beach plays their part in ensuring that garbage is not littered. Food vendors usually use bio-degradable covers to serve famous treats like muri-mixture but those enjoying ice-creams throw plastic wrappers all over the place.

Drains

Every vendor has a dustbin attached to his cart but people choose to throw the wrapper in the sand. Appa Rao, an ice cream vendor says he tries his best to remove the wrapper of an ice bar before serving it so that he can dispose it off properly but many people prefer to open it themselves.

One of the ways plastic waste reaches the beach is through drains that flow into the sea. Plastic bottles, water packets, plates and cups find their way to the sand as they have been dumped in the drain upstream. The sheer number of bottles and cups are proof that organisers of large events like caterers are indiscriminately dumping their garbage into these drains.

Marine life

Apart from being an eyesore the plastic once in the ocean harms marine life as some species confuse them for jellyfish and consume them. Many fish also get trapped in plastic nets and bags. Religious festivals like Vinayaka Chavithi are particularly harmful as a large number of toxins are released into the Bay. The idea is to impose a total ban on plastic and the organisers plan to request the GVMC and VUDA to consider the suggestion. The student community of the city particularly participated in large numbers and carried innovative banners to spread the message. Messages like ‘think globally, act locally’, ‘stop being a litterbug’, ‘don’t crib, act’ and posters with hard hitting photos drove the message home.

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