Globally, around 8 million pieces of plastic find their way into our oceans every day. They are known as ‘Plastic Pollutants’. Plastic pollutants can be found floating on the sea surface as well as in the depths of the deepest ocean. There are estimates, that with our current rate of dumping plastic into the water systems, oceans and seas will have more plastic than fish by 2025.
Priyesh KV, a fisherman from Kerala got worried about this fact when his fishing nets caught more plastic than fishes. As this went on and on, he decided to take some action and started a mission to remove as much plastic from the sea as he could.
The 30-year-old fisherman started his initiative around April 2019. He would collect any trash he found while fishing and bring it back. But he had consequences to face. In his own words, “For doing so, people have made fun of me to the extent of even labeling me mad, but the sea is my home. How would you feel if everyone is trashing your home and there is so much garbage that you can’t breathe? That is perhaps how the creatures in the ocean feel.”
But as he kept doing his work, people started realising its importance. Soon, the Azhiyoor grama panchayat of his village came to his help. With increased manpower, Priyesh’s cause reached the next level and within just two months, they were able to remove as much as 13.5 tonnes of plastic waste from the sea. There are plans for the panchayat to setup a Plastic Shredding Unit, which can help to recycle the collected plastic pollutants.
Talking about his future plans, Priyesh said, “I want to study more about pollution, especially the effect of plastic pollution. With more knowledge in the subject and with my personal experiences, I wish to go to schools to share this with the children. Because people never really forget what they are taught while they are small, they bring that knowledge along with them as they grow. So it is important for us to teach children the effects of plastic pollution,”
With more than 269,000 tonnes of plastic present in our oceans, we need more people like Priyesh for our own sustainable future. So why not join them and do our duty of saving the earth? Let us know what you think in the comments.