While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become addicted to single-use or disposable plastic – with severe environmental consequences. Around the world, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, while up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In total, half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once and then thrown away.
A staggering 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every year. How does it get there? A lot of it comes from the world’s lakes and rivers, which serve as direct conduits of trash from the world’s cities to the marine environment.
Mann Sagar Lake that surrounds the Jal Mahal in Jaipur has become one such example of a water body polluted by plastic and is a global tourist site known for its beauty and associated history. Recently, it’s been polluted with a lot of plastic waste and other debris by people visiting. Such levels of pollution not only spoils the beautiful landscape but also threatens the local biodiversity. All the waste is being dumped here since many years and all of it is still untreated. This has now resulted in animals feeding on them and an unbearable odor that makes the air around toxic for people coming there to exercise or take a walk, also almost unbreathable for kids.
To generate awareness on this issue, a group of environmentalists and volunteers came together on July 7th and decided to take the matter in their own hands.
The clean up was ideated by Green Dream Foundation and Green Feels. With the support of just 10 volunteers, they were able to clean up 100kgs of debris lying in the lake.
Ashish Sachdeva, Founder of Green Dream Foundation said, “This is the just the beginning. The prime objective of cleanups is to generate awareness. The actual solution is preventing the pollution at source. We will be making this a recurring activity until we gain the attention of local authorities that are responsible for maintaining this site.”
Priya Jain, Founder of Green Feels added, “Switching to sustainable alternatives is the need of the hour. We need to boycott single use plastics. Alternatives already exist and now it’s a matter of time for businesses to make the sustainable choice.”
Some volunteers traveled all the way from Delhi since they were very concerned about the condition of the lake which used to look very different when they visited it years ago. Volunteers included Akash saini- social worker, Divya meena, Avijit sharma, Ankit duklan, Garvit sharma : Students