Plastic waste removed from Oman beaches

MUSCAT, APRil 22 – Several tonnes of plastic waste have been removed from the shores of Oman by environment workers. The clean-up initiative launched by different social media groups was supported by the local community, Royal Oman Police and the Muscat Municipality. “We, the members of ‘Oman and Clean Beaches’ go out on every weekend to the beaches with the aim of cleaning up the surroundings and collect plastic waste that threatens marine life”, said Ammujam, one of the volunteers.
According to him, the volunteers collect tonnes of non-biodegradable plastic waste thrown on the beaches. The waste includes rags, broken fishnets, containers, empty chips packets, pellets, cans, domestic waste dumped randomly were also removed from the beaches.
“Leave alone the litter on the beaches, bundles of plastic ropes are buried underneath,” he said.
Plastic waste has been a major challenge today as it causes long-lasting damage to the environment. More than one million birds, 100,000 mammals, sea turtles and countless number of fish die each year because of plastic waste.
“Our oceans are really polluted with plastics, which make their way into the sea and are then ingested by sea turtles, sea birds and other marine life causing suffocation or starvation”, according to the Environment Society of Oman (ESO).
Among the various scenes of sea mammals dying unnatural death due to pollution, the sight of a young tortoise which was washed ashore after consuming plastic waste warrants quick, conscious action by the concerned parties, pointed out Mikaela, another volunteer.
“We found this dead tortoise which apparently the victim of plastic waste. This needs to be addressed”, Mikaela said. Oman has recently introduced legislation to fine if anyone is found littering.
However, the environmentalists call for installation of more trash bins, a round-the-clock surveillance by the authorities in areas prone to pollution.
“We believe that having officials or volunteers on duty to look out for beach littering, to give a little warning at least during weekends would help the situation”, the environmentalists jointly said.