Monday, April 15, 2024

Plastic clean-up brings crocodiles back to Indian river

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Crocodiles are not Sneha Shahi’s favourite animal, but every time she sees one now she smiles. And she sees plenty.

Sneha led a campaign to clean up the filthy river, stuffed with plastic waste, that winds its way through the campus of Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in Gujarat, India. Ridding the river of plastic had an unexpected outcome – bringing crocodiles back.

“We used to joke about how there can be a crocodile in our college’s stream, ‘it’s not possible, it’s not safe!’  Then we realized itnot being there was the issue … not the other way around. It’s his habitat and we’ve ruined it and we ought to do whatever we can to revive this ecosystem,” she told the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in an interview.

Sneha, a bubbly 23-year-old Masters student who loves reading and trekking to unexplored places, heard about UNEP’s Plastic Tide Turner Challenge campaign. Funded by the United Kingdom since 2018, the “Tide Turners Plastic Challenge” has reached over 225,000 youth in 25 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. The initiative is a crucial element of the British government’s pledge through its 25 Year Environment Plan to reduce ocean plastic. Read more…

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