Versova residents have initiated the first anniversary of beach clean-ups on Sunday and collected plastic waste of 1.12 lakh kilograms receiving support from Erik Solheim, head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), who labeled this event to be the largest in history as beach clean-up.
Thousands of students, children, college-goers and officials from private companies came together at the Versova Beach northern end and cleared trash from a long stretch (from jetty area up to Jeet Nagar, Versova village). There were 50 policemen, 30 civic body workers and some celebrities also assisting the beach cleaning.
In a period of 52 weeks, the residents of the Versova collected 3.11 million kgs of plastic, glass and other trash that is one-third of the daily garbage generated in Mumbai. “On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, this beach cleanup is encouraging and is a movement in history.” The government must regulate the use of plastic and an immediate need should be given to collecting and recycling before it is buried under the sand.”
Solheim said the beach clean-up was a firm message to political leaders to act against global beach pollution. The government must educate people and offer techniques for recycling. Therefore, people in such areas can collect plastic, recycle and sell it,” he said.
On Sunday, the area was divided into four zones for the clean-up activity. Three were allotted to locals, while the civic workers handled the zone closer to the jetty. Each zone had one excavator machine and eventually 28 tractors carried garbage of 4,000 kg each to the dumping grounds of the city.