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‘Threat posed by plastics is growing’

D. Radhakrishnan
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Removal of litter formed part of the campaign

On conservation:Students participating in an anti-plastics campaign at the Doddabetta Junction, near Udhagamandalam, on Thursday. —Photo: D. Radhakrishnan
On conservation:Students participating in an anti-plastics campaign at the Doddabetta Junction, near Udhagamandalam, on Thursday. —Photo: D. Radhakrishnan

Underscoring the need to step up efforts to tackle the plastic menace, a campaign with a difference was organised by the Nilgiri Environment and Cultural Service Trust (NEST) at the Doddabetta Junction near here on Thursday.

With students of the Doddabetta Adi-Dravidar Welfare Middle School putting up a demon-like figure made of plastic bottles and other plastic items and holding aloft placards bearing environment-related messages, the Managing Trustee, NEST, V. Sivadass, said while addressing the gathering that the objective was to drive home the message that the threat posed by plastics is growing.

Though a ban on plastics, mainly disposable cups, plates and bags, came into force about 12 years ago and thousands of campaigns in different forms have been conducted, the desired results continue to be elusive. Hence, the war on plastics should be intensified. By depicting plastics as a source of terror, it is hoped that the people would help put an end to their use.

Regretting that Doddabetta, which is not only a major tourist attraction but also an important part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, is facing a serious threat to its ecology, he said that efforts should be made to protect it. The number of tourists visiting Doddabetta has gone up considerably and the indiscriminate discarding of non-biodegradable waste materials by many of them is seriously affecting the peak’s flora and fauna.

Apart from plastic items, tourists are throwing liquor bottles, cigarette packets etc into the forests.

Many wild animals have been injured by the sharp glass pieces. Promotion of tourism should not be at the cost of the ecology.

School headmistress K. Kalavathy said that though the students belonged to the economically weaker sections of the society and hailed from a rural area, they are highly environment conscious.

Pointing out that they have made it a habit to collect discarded items, she said that it had taken them one month to create the ‘plastic demon’.

Removal of litter from some parts of Doddabetta formed part of the programme.

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