In commemoration of International Coastal Clean-up Day, Tree Foundation organised a cleanup drive on Marina Beach recently in which more than 600 school and college students took part. Wearing gloves, they collected plastic cups, bottles and others that were found littered around the beach.

“The drive, organised every year on third Saturday of September, aims to make people realise their responsibility in keeping the beach clean. Dumping of garbage and solid waste along the coastline will destroy the marine ecosystem. Also it emphasises people not to use plastic products,” said S. Regha, Assistant Professor, Department of Bio-Technology, Kumararani Meena Muthiah College (KRMCC) of Arts and Science.

M. V. Naseelan Kumar, a first-year student of KRMCC said, “Shops along the beach dump all sorts of trash on the sands. Food vendors throw the leftovers into the sea. Vendors have to be educated on proper disposal of waste.” We should have a sense of belongingness towards the beach and should feel it is our responsibility to keep the beaches clean, said D. Karthik and K. Murali of Guru Nanak College.

“People should be aware of the ill-effects of marine pollution. Plastic and other toxic substances once enters the food chain will cause diseases for marine organisms and human beings,” said K. Ashok Siva-Kumar.

Supraja Dharini, chairperson, Tree Foundation, said, “When a plastic bag floats on an ocean, it will look like a jellyfish to sea turtles and mammals. They may choke or starve to death when they consume plastic.”

A rally on importance and preservation of marine life was flagged off from Marina Beach and it passed through Anna Salai, Raj Bhavan and East Coast Road.

More In: Downtown | Chennai