Discarded plastic is killing our planet. The startup EthicoIndia is making a stand.
The British have spent the recent heatwave either outrageously flaunting the social distancing guidelines by visiting packed beaches, or being indignantly outraged at those who are visiting the seaside.
Local councils in Bournemouth, Kent and Dorset, have reported traffic jams along country roads, illegal parking, verbal abuse at police and even a Councillor, Laura Miller, as well as social distancing guidelines being ignored, for a seat on the sand.
Yet the threat of passing on the Coronavirus to other beachgoers is not the worst thing to hit the seaside communities – as some day-trippers have left their rubbish behind on the beach.
British beauty spots covered in rubbish
Volunteer litter-picker, Anna Lois Taylor, tweeted: “Durdle Door… Poo, used sanitary towels, dirty nappies, lots of single use plastic… The list is endless.”
Another volunteer, Susan Bedford, said: “Three tons of rubbish picked up by myself and volunteers at Durdle Door and three more left on the beaches to be taken by the tide.”
Whilst the British seaside is not as delicate as The Great Barrier Reef, the effects on marine life are still harmful:
- Fish mistakenly consume micro-plastics (some of which are then fished and later end up on human dinner plates).
- Birds become caught in constricting pieces whilst searching for human leftovers
- Plastic items continue to fill the sea and spread throughout the ocean, taking hundreds of years to decompose. Some scientists believe plastic will outnumber fish in the ocean by 2050.
Plastic waste is a worldwide problem
Yet, littering in places of natural beauty, is a behaviour not unique to the British, or the seaside.
Maya Bay, in Thailand, was forced to close in 2019, due to the effects of over-tourism, which included plastic waste left on beaches.
Following the ban, blacktip reef sharks were spotted back in the area, suggesting that the local marine life is starting to recover to its pre-tourist levels. Maya Beach is expected to reopen in 2021.
In comparison, 11,000 kilos of rubbish were cleaned up from Mount Everest last year. The waste included empty oxygen tanks, water bottles and frozen poo, which had been left behind by intrepid and careless climbers.
Littering is something that planet earth is guilty of – and some are fighting back to protect our planet.
Appalled by the level of plastic debris on Mahim Beach, India, husband and wife duo, Indranil Sengupta and Rabia Tewari, began a litter picking group, @MahimBeachCleanUp.
The Mahim Beach Clean Up grew in popularity, with local people wanting to see the beauty of their beach restored.
Indranil and Rabia saw the mood of their friends and neighbours and decided to create a startup, EthicoIndia – a community for people who are frustrated with the lack of action against the climate crisis and want to make a difference.
Litter picking groups in the UK
If you live in the UK and want to start your own war against plastic waste and littering, you can join a local litter picking group here.