PLANET OR PLASTIC? How India’s Fishermen Turn Ocean Plastic Into Roads

In an innovative project, fishermen in Kerala collect ocean plastic for recycling, cleaning the ocean in the process.

BY MAANVI SINGH

PUBLISHED MAY 23, 2018

This story is part of Planet or Plastic?—our multiyear effort to raise awareness about the global plastic waste crisis. Learn what you can do to reduce your own single-use plastics, and take your pledge.

KOLLAM, INDIAKadalamma—Mother Sea—that’s what Xavier Peter calls the Arabian Sea. His own mother gave him life, but Kadalamma gave him purpose, a livelihood. She has provided for him, offering up enough fish to feed his family and sell at the market. And she has protected him, sparing him thrice from cyclones and once from a tsunami.

Xavier has been trawling for shrimp and fish off India’s southwestern coast for more than three decades, his whole adult life. But lately, when he casts out his nets, he often comes up with more plastic than fish.

“Pulling the nets out of the water is extra effort, with all this plastic tangled in them,” he says. “It’s a bit like trying to draw water from a well—your bucket is somehow being weighed back down.”

See full article at source:  https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/05/fishermen-kerala-india-recycle-plastic-pollution-culture/?beta=true

 

A fisherman in Kerala, India, repairs nets on a beach. Plastic pollution can damage and clog nets, but now fishermen are fighting back.  PHOTOGRAPH BY FRANK BIENEWALD, GETTY IMAGES

A fisherman in Kerala, India, repairs nets on a beach. Plastic pollution can damage and clog nets, but now fishermen are fighting back.

PHOTOGRAPH BY FRANK BIENEWALD, GETTY IMAGES