A newsletter on the Natural History, Ecology
and Conservation of the Agasthyamalai region, Western Ghats, India.

Any and all opinions expressed in this newsletter are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of ATREE. 

A S H O K A   T R U S T   F O R   R E S E A R C H   I N   E C O L O G Y   A N D   T H E   E N V I R O N M E N T

Out of sight, out of problem
                                                                               Allwin Jesudasan

In the middle of my earlier survey in SMK two years ago in 2008, I realized that the pilgrims have started adopting `out of sight, out of problem’ strategy to dispose plastic ‘safely’-by burning. To my dismay, this year, half the people I interviewed said they disposed the plastic by burning them. Some of them even burry the plastic bags. Most people think that what is bad about plastic is that once eaten by an animal, it dies a painful death. By burning or hiding the plastic a few millimetres underground, they think they have solved the problem. They don’t seem to be aware that when burned, plastic releases a host of poisonous chemicals into the air, including dioxin, one of the most toxic substances known to science apart from carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Besides causing damage to individuals’ health, some of these gases affect the ozone layer which protects us from the heat of the sun. This behaviour is not very uncommon as one notices people disposing plastic by burning in large cities as well. While there is widespread campaigning for the reduction of plastic, incineration of plastic is a neglected aspect which needs to be addressed at the earliest.

Centre for Excellence in Conservation Science
Royal Enclave,Srirampura,Jakkur Post
Telephone: 080-23635555 (EPABX)
Fax : 080- 23530070

Volume 5,  Special Issue
      January 2011

Editorial Team

Editor: M. Soubadra Devy
Associate editor: Vivek Ramachandran
Editorial Review: R. Ganesan, T.Ganesh
Design and presentation: Vivek Ramachandran