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World Environment Day 2018: How fishing community in Kerala is bringing back PLASTIC from the sea

World Environment Day 2018, ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’: Under the campaign of Suchitwa Sagaram which translates to Clean Sea, in English, plastic waste from the waterbodies are collected. So far, 10 tonnes of plastic bags and plastic bottles and 15 tonnes of discarded nets, plastic ropes and other items from the sea have been removed.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: June 5, 2018 1:04:46 pm
world environment day, world environment day 2018, water pollution, ocean pollution, pastic waste marine life, kerala, kerala fishermen bring back plastic, india news, environment news, indian express The initiative launched in 2017 by the Kerala government has already brought back over 25 tonnes of plastic waste from the sea. (Source: Getty Images)

It’s quite natural for fishermen venturing out in the sea to catch fish and earn a livelihood. But have you ever heard of fishermen brining back tonnes of plastic? Believe it or not, this fisherman community from Kerala brings back tonnes of plastic waste from the water every time they go to get their fresh catch. Since the last 10 months, members of the community are doing their best to keep the water plastic free.

Kerala, which is one of India’s top producers of fish, is also home to more than a million people whose livelihood depend on fishery. With sharp decline in fish output and degradation in quality of fish, not to mention the harmful impacts the coastal towns recently faced owing to rising pollution, the government and people decided to take action. Under the campaign of Suchitwa Sagaram which translates to Clean Sea, in English, they decided to bring back plastic waste from the waterbodies aiming for a cleaner environment.

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“So far, they have removed 10 tonnes of plastic bags and plastic bottles and 15 tonnes of discarded nets, plastic ropes and other plastic items from the sea,” Johnson Premkumar, programme officer for training under the initiative was quoted by UN website. “Even though it is a small group of fishermen, they have freed the sea from 25 tonnes of plastic waste,” he added.

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According to the website, so far, 28 people from the local fishing community are actively involved in the programme that was started by Kerala’s fisheries minister, J. Mercykutty Amma. With the help of five trawlers, they regularly bring back huge amount of plastic waste that are often discarded in the water by irresponsible tourists and locals.

The initiative doesn’t stop at just collecting non-biodegradable waste, it also recycles them. “The plastic material is collected at the fishing harbour. From there, the waste is fed into a plastic shredding machine, which turns it into material that is then used for road surfacing,” the website added.

Water pollution is as common as any other form of pollution and plastic is one of the most repugnant threats that have put our planet at risk. It creates not just soil pollution, but are equally harmful for marine and aquatic lives. Fish are known to ingest microscopic plastic waste, that in turn affect humans who consume those fish. This remarkable initiative by the southern state has garnered a lot of attention.

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