Fishermen in India are diverting their catch of ocean plastic so that roads can be rebuilt
In the state of Kerala, known as the jewel of South India, the fishermen take it upon themselves to keep it this way and to secure their livelihood against plastic pollution.
The Workers’ Association is encouraging fishermen to rescue all plastic trash caught from their nets in support of a 2017 government initiative for clean seas that turns plastic into streets.
Kerala is a stretch of coastline on the southwest tip of India and has a thriving fishing community. According to a report by the Hindus, the fishing industry employs 55,000 people directly, who work on 3,600 boats and nearly a million indirectly, and generates 1.5 billion rupees or $ 14 million in sales.
As the plastic content in the fishing waters has gradually increased, the local government took note of this and passed a law on clean seas known as Suchitwa Sagaram. It instructed the port authorities to distribute nylon bags to fishing boats, with a request to salvage any piece of plastic that gets caught in their nets.
On land, the plastic, which is often far too mutilated or contaminated for available recycling methods, is shredded into a kind of confetti and mixed with asphalt to make roads. The arithmetic is positive because it takes the plastic equivalent of a million grocery bags per kilometer of road, replaces a ton of high-emission asphalt, and cuts road costs by around 9%.
Clean Sea Scheme, Netfish-MPEDA
The plastic on the streets also seems to give the streets resistance to the immense heat of the Indian midday sun.
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An April Guardian update on the work done by fishermen in Kerala describes how the project has so far amassed 80,000 kilograms of plastic, more than half of which was used in building 135 kilometers of road.
“We used to not care much about the plastic we collected in our nets,” Peter Mathias, president of the All Kerala Fishing Boat Operators’ Association, told the Guardian. “But not anymore – we are now protecting the ocean to save our livelihood. If we had continued to be ruthless, we would not have caught any more fish. “
The project, which also employs those who sort the garbage to sell to road construction companies, grows up and down the 375-mile-long coastline. According to reports, dive fishermen are going to government buildings to see if they can get involved. to
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Local sources also explain that the state’s attitude towards plastic pollution is changing and there is now a sense of pride in those efforts, so locals try to keep tourists in line and fishermen put stickers on their boats, on which their participation is noted.
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