Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Plastic waste in elephant dung, TN’s Valparai municipality in the dock

The Valparai municipality in Tamil Nadu is in the dock after plastic waste was found in the dung of wild elephants in Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR).

Forest department field staff and elephant researchers found plastic dung in more places like Rottikadai and Nallamudi Pooncholai viewpoints in the ATR.

It may be noted that in September 2022, ATR officials had requested the Valparai municipality to collect garbage and process it fast as food waste would attract wild animals, including elephants and monkeys.

Sources in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve told IANS that the Valparai municipality did not pay heed to the request made by the ATR and hence several wild animals, including elephants used to feed on the food wastes left by humans leading to the presence of plastic granules in their stomach.

The presence of plastic granules in elephant dung, according to the forest department, is critical to the health of these pachyderms and urged the municipality to take action at the earliest to process waste garbage at source. The lack of segregating the plastic waste from the garbage dumped is another reason for the presence of plastic granules in the stomach of the elephants.

G. Manikantan, Forest Range Officer, Valparai told media persons that the presence of plastic waste in elephant dung is a reality, and added that Valparai municipality has to adhere to solid waste management techniques.

The Valparai municipality Chairman, Alagu Sundaram while speaking to IANS said that the municipality was buying a machine to shred plastics from the waste generated. He also said that door to door waste collection has commenced in the municipality.

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