This is one of the most dramatic beach makeovers, ever. Over a span of 85 weeks, resident volunteers in north western Mumbai, India, transformed Versova beach from one of the most littered to absolutely stunning. The beach cleanup removed 5.3 million kilograms of trash, which is over half of the daily garbage generated by Mumbai.
Largest Beach Cleanup Movement in History
Local attorney Afroz Shah started this remarkable beach cleanup effort in October 2015. He received much support from Versova residents, students, businesses, and civic employees. In addition, the movement gained the attention of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
What became the Versova Resident Volunteers group collected over 5 million kilograms of trash, including plastic, glass and other debris. In addition to their work on the beach, volunteers cleaned up many creeks that feed into the ocean. As a result of his leadership in this cleanup effort, Shah received the UN’s top environmental award, Champions of the Earth.
After 85 weeks of collaboration and hard work on the part of thousands of volunteers, Shah was able to Tweet the successful completion of Versova’s remarkable beach cleanup.
This is versova beach an hour back. Week 85 of cleanup.Versova beach is gorgeous and clean now.we have done our bit.We need to maintain it. pic.twitter.com/98q9RD5aAg
— Afroz Shah (@AfrozShah1) May 20, 2017
The Versova cleanup movement received much global attention. Since the onset of the effort, South Africa, a few beaches in North Africa, Yemen and Southeast Asia have started their own beach cleanup efforts to reduce marine litter, reports HT.
Apart from just collecting garbage from the shoreline, collection needs to happen at source. The government needs to educate people and provide techniques for recycling. Therefore, people living in areas where beach pollution is high can collect plastic, recycle it and sell it.
In Versova, it is now up to the residents to take care of this stunning piece of coastline. Further, the people need support from the local government to help keep debris from arriving onto the beach via other waterways. Shah stated:
The entire beach is finally clean and our efforts have borne fruit. The trash that is washing ashore is now only coming from the sea. We have asked the civic body to start cleaning the creeks before the monsoon so the beach remains tidy.
What happened in Versova is happening all over the world. Our oceans and coastlines are very polluted. We must face the reality that we are the ones littering. Thus, it is also us that need to do the cleaning. Moreover, cleanup is not enough in the long term. The best solution to ocean pollution is awareness and prevention.
Dear ocean , I love you. I love you. I love you. We want to see you fit and pure soon. Get well and free from plastic. I love you. ~ Afroz Shah
Please share this article so you may inspire others to help clean up their local waterways, beaches and parks.
Images source: https://twitter.com/AfrozShah1
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About the Author
Anna Hunt is the founder of Awareness Junkie, a community paving the way to better health, a balanced life, and personal transformation. In addition, she is the proprietor of OffgridOutpost.com, an online store offering GMO-free healthy storable food and emergency kits. Anna is a certified Hatha yoga instructor and founder of Atenas Yoga Center. She enjoys raising her children and being a voice for optimal human health and wellness. Visit her essential oils store here.