Beach cleanup data to come handy in efficient solid waste management system

Volunteers clean up the coastal area in Puducherry on Saturday.— Photo: G. Krishnaswamy  

Around 2,000 volunteers from across Puducherry came together on Saturday to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup event coordinated by the Indian Coast Guard Station.

The beaches are strewn with disposable cups, water bottles and plastic bags. This is a very sad situation, since these materials will greatly affect the coastal environment, Commandant of the ICGS Puducherry N. Somasundaram said. Gandhi Statue area is the most affected because that is where all the vendors and the maximum crowd come in.

In places like Kalapet and Vaithikuppam, the main issues were household garbage in polythene bags. The data from each area was now being compiled and will be sent to various agencies including the Pondicherry University Department of Ecology and Environment.

The data would then be studied to come up with a more efficient solid waste management system for the coastal areas. The Coast Guard would also be looking at encouraging self help groups and other sections of people to start making jute and paper bags, which could be used to replace plastic bags across the town.

In Port Blair, for example, even small shops use either paper or cloth bags. If that can be implemented there, it can work in Puducherry also, he said.

The ICC is not going to be a one-day event, but efforts will be made on a continuous basis to improve the environmental conditions, he said.