Say the more sea throws back, the more they get to keep it from going back
Unfazed by the tonnes of garbage washed ashore by the sea over the past week, beach clean-up volunteers are seeing it as an opportunity.
“We now have a chance to keep the garbage from going back to the sea,” says Chinu Kwatra, who has been cleaning up a stretch of Dadar beach since last year. Mr. Kwatra, co-founder of NGO Aarna Foundation, says it isn’t disheartening to the see garbage washing ashore. “The more we are able to take out, the better it will be.”
As per BMC estimates, more than 400 tonnes of garbage was washed ashore across the city’s beaches over the weekened. On Saturday, Mr. Kwatra organised a special 24-hour clean-up drive that saw participation by 1,500 volunteers. “We collected close to 200 tonnes of garbage from Dadar and Worli Fort,” said Mr. Kwatra, adding dumping has reduced overall. “But there is still so much littering; a hefty fine should be levied on litterers.”
Mahim couple Indranil Sengupta and Rabia Tewari collect between 30 tonnes and 50 tonnes of garbage from the beach in their area on weekends during the monsoon. On Sunday, they sent nearly two tonnes of plastic waste to Sampurna Earth, an organisation that collects plastic waste for recycling. “Unfortunately, a lot of garbage still remains to be cleaned. We wish we had two or three more excavators. The high and low tides don’t give us enough time to clean. We could also use more help from BMC cleaners,” said Mr Sengupta.
Jay Shringarpure, who cleans another stretch of Dadar beach, said the plastic ban needs to be enforced stringently. He is also upset with the ban being relaxed. “A majority of waste that we collect is plastic. There is so much of it in the sea,” he said. Mr. Shringarpure said he collected two tonnes of garbage from the beach with the help of 15 volunteers on Sunday.
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