Western Province seabed full of trash – Katuwawala
By Eunice Ruth
Due to the accumulation of garbage in the Western Province, 80 per cent of the seabed is polluted with plastic, claimed the Coordinator of the Pearl Protectors organisation, Muditha Katuwawala.
When contacted yesterday (23), he said, an underwater cleanup programme was organised by the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) on 22 November with the involvement of environmental organisations, Navy officers, the relevant authorities and volunteers.
“In the cleanup programme, we found around 65 kilos of plastic from the seabed and 13.5 kilos, that included plastic bags, bottles, sachets, food wrappings, metal wires, dresses and discarded fishing gear, by snorkeling,” said Katuwawala. He said, only 10% of the pollutants float while the remaining 90% sank and settled in the seabed.
“It is expected, to notice a change, with the ban of single use plastic and this decision should be implemented without any issues,” he said.
He urged the public to reduce with the reuse of plastic products, especially single use plastics, in order to minimise and prevent seabed pollution.
“Another cleaning programme is to be carried out in January with the involvement of all the relevant authorities, more volunteers and scuba divers,” said Katuwawala.