Sneha Shahi was a MA Environmental studies student at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. She enrolled in United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) plastic tide turner challenge with 300 other students from her college and eventually became one among the 18 members selected from the country for this campaign in 2019.
UNEP's Tide Turner Plastic Challenge Badge is supported and funded by the UK Government's Environment, Food and Agriculture Department. The UNEP developed a clean sea campaign to guide people about plastic pollution and encourage them to participate in the campaign, as per the UNEP website.
Protecting The Environment
When Sneha and a few students from her campus also joined the campaign to be a part of protecting the environment, they did not expect that they would be able to bring back the living ecosystem. They faced a lot of changes during the campaign.
They decided to clean up a filthy river on their college campus. The river was stuffed with plastic waste. Cleaning up the plastic waste was a massive task, so the students volunteered themselves to clean the plastic waste on the campus.
Over 700kg of plastic was removed from the urban stream. They collected different forms of the garbage while cleaning the Urban river, like Thermocol, Microplastics, and glass bottles. They also named this campaign as "Bhukhi Stream Project". The project was also nominated for the Youth for Earth Award, reported The Better India.
The biggest challenge they faced was convincing people not to throw garbage in public places as it caused a lot of damage to the water bodies and land. After a few months of the campaign, Sneha could see the changes in people, and they have started working positively.
She felt delighted that she had been the initial person to do so, and she is happy to see everyone respecting nature and following the guidelines properly.
Plastic waste and its irresponsible disposal have an adverse impact on flora and fauna. The future has been predicted by the amount of plastic disposed of, and people should take the initiative to reduce plastic use.