Plastic pollution in India is more on the rise than ever and is going towards becoming one of the most waste generators in the world. Plastic Waste in Forests is something that often goes unnoticed or is generally ignored.
As people are indulging in touristry, camping, trekking, and nature activities, pollution is only increasing in these areas. This puts forth the issue of waste generated due to increased tourism and needs to be managed to keep the green and wildlife alive.
Amarabad Tiger Reserve, located in the Nallamala Forest, one of the largest forests in South India shared by two states – Telangana and Andhra Pradesh spread over an area of 3285sq.km. Housing some of the popular tourist, religious destinations like Srisailam, Mahanandi, Ahobilam, and Mallela Theertham waterfalls, the places attract tourists from Telangana throughout the year.
The tourist activity along the NH 765 that passes through Nallamalla Forest has resulted in heaps of plastic waste along the highway. This in return, is causing plastic pollution in the area thereby resulting in damage to the natural habitat and forest ecosystem. Some of the most severe problems as reported by the forest rangers brought to light on cases of animals like Monkeys, Cows, Wild dogs, Deers ingesting plastic waste.
This begs for us to rethink the current waste management procedures and come up with a plastic waste collection and management mechanism that is sustainable and transparent.
Recykal’s visit to the Mannanur village that lies along NH 765 brought the grave situation of improper waste disposal to light. Our waste collection drive in the area has made the officials aware of the situation at hand. During the visit, we have collected around 160 kg of solid dry waste along a stretch of 59 km.
While there was waste lying all around, the manpower to collect and dispose of it was very limited. This further led to improper segregation and zero collection of waste beyond a 20m radius.
Our on-ground observations during the forest plastic waste collection drive highlighted:
- The need for a proper uniform for the ragpickers to ensure their safety
- Setting up more waste collection bins to ease the disposal process
- Proper segregation and disposal of solid waste
Being a waste management company, we went ahead and educated the officials and ragpickers in the forest area regarding the grave dangers that the burning of plastic poses to inhabitants around. Our approach to waste management in the Nallamalla forest through our digital platforms along with the on-ground support promises to curb the issue and enable proper disposal, segregation and recycling of plastic accumulated.