A Christmas tree with a message
In a country which generates up to 1 billion pounds of plastic every year, every now and then, we witness good Samaritans initiating concepts to counteract with the mighty plastic menace. One such organisation we stumbled across is The Pearl Protectors (TPP). They are dedicated to protect Sri Lanka’s marine environment.
“We mainly try to advocate and educate people of the risks our oceans and shoreline is subject to,” said The Pearl Protectors Coordinator Muditha. They further work around issues caused by shipping lines and fishing.
If you drive down Marine drive, around the railway station located at Wellawatta, you’re sure to catch a glimpse of the plastic Christmas tree, which stands a little over 10 ft.; this is a result of the assembling of plastic items collected down the stretches of Galle Face and Wellawatta. “We noticed the amount of plastic that’s dumped into the sea. So because of that, we decided that we could easily advocate against and educate people on plastic pollution by collecting the plastic that is dumped onto the beach”, added Muditha. Not only did it render a noteworthy cause, but is apt for the season as well.
Whilst this was TPP’s second project, it was the first major project to be organised by them. Interestingly, Muditha revealed to us that the tree was constructed and completed within a day with the help of volunteers who all came together for one common cause.
It doesn’t stop there for The Pearl Protectors, as they wish to organise more projects in the future.
Awareness is imperative, and according to Muditha, this is one of their prime concerns. “Educating people is one of our main aims, and we wish to do so by educating school-going children on why it’s important to reduce plastic use”.
What better way to educate the public than to put it on display? This is exactly what they will be doing. Muditha asserted that they plan on utilising plastic collected through a beach clean-up to construct street art and artistic structures.
“This time around, we want it to be printed in a manner that’ll last and be displayed in the long run”.
Apart from this, they hope to organise competitive events where individuals would team up to collect microplastics.