I heard someone hammering at the beach, what the hell can you hammer at a beach? I was running down and could not believe what I saw. 15 Sri Lankan Navy men, trying to remove rocks at the beach, rocks which are breaking the waves and protecting the land. Luckily I could stop them, but they were not even aware that they are destroying nature.
This is just one example of what is going on here in Sri Lanka: garbage throwing, plastic burning, turtle eggs eating or dolphin killing are other examples.
Mainly I am collecting garbage in Sri Lanka: plastic spoons, straws, flip flops, sneakers, plastic bottles and other small plastic parts – they are washed up at the beach. Every day new things arrive, it is like a big shop – but no demand for those things.
Not only at the beach also along the road – wrappings, lids, plastic bags.
When I saw this I was wondering why: why the roads look like that – why the beach looks like that? It took me time to find out some explanations:
- first there is not many garbage bins,
- second the garbage men are not coming to every road and they are not collecting garbage from all bins,
- third if there are bins, they can not be closed, they get wet from the rain and it is very likely that stray dogs smell food and make them fall,
- fourth there is barley consciousness that garbage belongs to bins and needs to be recycled,
- fifth people who are cleaning the garbage at the beach just throw the collected garbage to the bushes next to the beach.
Every country is different, every culture is different – that’s nothing new, but e.g. in Europe or in the USA they have waste management: bins everywhere, garbage men collecting and recycling plants. Companies sell their products around the globe, but the majority of them does not care what happens with the wrappings of their products, not every country has an well established garbage recycling system.
Wind, rivers, heavy rainfalls these are the transporters of the plastic items to the ocean. Around 80% of ocean trash comes from the land. The beautiful, rich in nature, tropical island Sri Lanka will loose its beauty if its people do not look after nature.
Mission Nature was founded to help protect Sri Lanka’s beauty, however it is only a small field where we help. We are raising awareness by teaching and organizing clean ups.
I am happy if Mission Nature can contribute to a green planet, the more we know about these things the more we can pass the information on, due to travelling and modern technology our planet is more connected than years ago.
Every small step like reusing, reducing or refusing plastic can save wildlife!
Carolin Baumgartner is an Austrian activist living in Sri Lanka. She tells the local people about plastic pollution and thus strongly contributes to the protection of wildlife in Sri Lanka.