Calling earth lovers

A plastic invasion Photo: H. Vibhu   | Photo Credit: H_Vibhu

The United Nations has said this is the year to “Beat Plastic Pollution”. In order to do this on World Environment Day 2018 (June 5th), Siruthuli, the NGO that works towards water resource management, afforestation, solid waste management and sewage water treatment among other eco-sensitive issues, plans to collect used pet bottles at various points in the city.

And what do they plan to do with them? The old bottles will be reused to build the first of, hopefully, many toilets in the city.

“It is a a simple initiative by us to prevent tonnes of plastic ending up in the landfill,” says Shruthi Suresh, spokesperson for Siruthuli. “We realised banning them outright is not going to achieve foreseeable results, so we thought to upcycle the bottles. We watched a few videos of eco-construction and during our meeting with the No Dumping team (that helps gated communities and other residential areas to manage and dispose waste responsibly), we decided to give this a chance and make it a model project that others may want to replicate.”

Approximately 2, 000 pet bottles will be required to construct a toilet that is roughly four feet by four feet in area. The construction is planned to begin by the end of the month after the collection drive.

The model toilet will be constructed at the Siruthuli office where it will become a blueprint for other Environmental Engineers to study it and check on its feasibility and durability of the construction, explains Suresh.

Discarded carry bags not only litter the surroundings but are proving to be hazardos to the wildlife in and around Burliyar, in the Nilgiris Photo: M.Sathyamoorthy

Discarded carry bags not only litter the surroundings but are proving to be hazardos to the wildlife in and around Burliyar, in the Nilgiris Photo: M.Sathyamoorthy   | Photo Credit: M_ Sathyamoorthy

Doorway to the hills

Burliyar at one time was said to be one of the prettiest spots in the Nilgiris. For visitors to the hills from Coimbatore, it is a gateway that leads them from hot and grimy plains to the beauty of the hills ahead. Not just now, even as far back as the 1800s it was a stopover for travellers. Historical accounts describe Burliyar as a serene and picturesque spot overlooking deep verdant ravines and lofty crags with the Coonoor River rushing far below.

But once motor vehicles came in, the inevitable happened. There were more visitors to the hills and along with them came more litter.

Today Burliar is synonymous with smoke-belching vehicles and tourists who stop there to buy fruits and food at the 30 odd shops there. The culverts and drains are plastic choked and the once sparkling river is no more than a dump. The ‘Clean Coonoor Volunteer Group’ has decided to do something about this on June 5. Volunteers from Coonoor and the local people plan to clear up the litter and carry out an awareness drive for the traders, tourists and the local residents. The shopkeepers will be encouraged to stop the use of single-use plastic bags and switch over to a re-useable alternative.

According to Samantha Iyanna Founder Member of Clean Coonoor, “The administration has swung in to help and there are plans to clear the highway of trash, as well as the blocked drains. Arrangements are also being made to compost the organic waste being generated by the fruit stalls. Transport services have been requested to install trash cans in their buses so that there will be no throwing litter out of the moving buses. We hope this will be the beginning of making Burliyar beautiful and clean again.”

Collection of bottles

Date: June 5, 6 and 7

Venue: All branches of Annapoorna and Anandas restaurants

Timings: 7.00 am to 10.00 pm

The collection is also on at Brookefields Mall from June 6 to 10 between 10.00 am and 5.00 pm.

For Further Details on collection and Volunteering call 9894631551, 04222318222

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 12:06:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/on-world-environment-day-siruthuli-in-coimbatore-and-and-burliyar-in-the-neighbouring-nilgiris-have-pledged-to-confront-the-deadliest-threats-to-the-planet-plastic-what-about-you/article24066742.ece

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