4 things you should be doing in Chennai for the annual Coastal Cleanup

This year, Chennai Coastal Cleanup will collect 50 tons of waste from 20km of the coastline! It is not just an event. It is the beginning of a new lifestyle.

As we gear up for the 6th edition of the Chennai Coastal Cleanup, here are four initiatives that you shouldn’t miss trying out this season.

1. #NoPlasticChallenge

Chennaiites have been restlessly checking out alternatives to reduce plastic in everyday life by taking up this 5 day challenge to stop dumping waste from their homes. An idea initiated by a few CTC volunteers, #NoPlasticChallenge highlights the need to reduce, reuse and recycle alongside source segregation and composting. The challenge encourages the use of traditional cloth bags, reusable bottles, explore alternatives for daily use disposables and opt for eco-friendly living. When exposed to heat, different kinds of plastics start releasing the toxic dioxins in our environment, depending on their thickness. If you’re one of those guilty of dumping plastics into your bin, here is your time to take up#NoPlasticChallenge. Every one minute, 1 million plastic bags are used, but less than 1% of that is recycled. Are you ready to take up #NoPlasticChallenge?


An Indian village, Mawlynnong in East Khasi hills in Meghalaya is the cleanest village in Asia. The entire village has been following a zero waste lifestyle for more than a decade. With the Asia’s cleanest village in our own country, what other inspiration do we require for a zero waste lifestyle?

flickr cc Ashwin Kumar

flickr cc Ashwin Kumar

2. Long term Waste Management

CCC6 Team is inviting corporates and residential areas/colonies/apartments to work with recyclers and come up with a Long term Solid waste Management system of their own. Chennai has been rated as one of the top cities to reside in with respect to safety and the living conditions. However, waste Management is an issue with every other residential area in Chennai with the city generating 5000 tonnes of garbage every day. Change is in your hands, and if your apartment/residential colony/corporate office is interested to come up with a Solid Waste Management plan, do fill this form for partnering with recyclers. In a major step to avoid plastics in daily use, CCC6 team has also identified a few stores who offer plastic free packaging on groceries.

Collaboration with Clean Chennai

Clean Chennai is an anti-litter campaign by the Corporation of Chennai and collaborates with various groups to pass on the message to stop littering and come up with a Waste management solution.

Few other role models

Exnora Green Pammal, Clean Kotturpuram Campaign, Nizhal

The only way to conserve our environment is to stop thinking that someone else will do it for us. It’s our world that we are a part of; let’s do our every bit to keep it clean. Start with your own colony!

3. Go Plastic free with CCC Coffee Mugs and Stainless Steel Bottles

While you read this post, approximately 1,50,000 disposable are making their way towards a landfill every second. In a country with a population of a few billions, each one of the billion seems to think what difference usage of a single plastic/paper cup would make, and so billions of cups make their way to landfills. Paper cups are often misunderstood to be a bio-degradable and an environmentally friendly option for plastics. But, what many people do not know is that these cups are coated with wax/plastic to prevent leakage will slow down the decomposition process. Are you still one of those drinking teas in paper cups, juices in plastic cups? Here ‘s your chance to upgrade to a ceramic Coffee Mug with your name on it by filling out this form.

Over 842 crore passengers use Indian Railways every year and a statistics suggests that a staggering 342 crore plastic bottles are sold every year in IRCTC travel alone. Bihar is the first Indian state to stop usage of bottled water in government offices. It takes just 3 minutes to drink bottled water but it takes 600 years for the bottle to decompose. When there is an alternative to use a reusable water bottle and opt for a refill, why can’t we go with that? If you are willing to upgrade to a stainless steel bottle, all you will need to do is to fill this form and wait for the bottle to arrive after payment.

An Alternative for bottled water

AmrutDhara is a social enterprise that has been working on installation of water refill stations/vending machines in public places to improve access to safe drinking water. They operate in multiple public places and sell water at Rs. 3 per litre for refill in Pondicherry. Talks are on set up mobile kiosks in Tamil Nadu and Karanataka in many public places.

4. Awareness drive and Younger generation Connect

Like our Facebook page Chennai Coastal Cleanup and watch out for our daily quiz, Did you Know series, Promo videos and much more. That’s not all of it, a huge number of volunteers have put on their dancing shoes for the Flash mobs, artists are out in streets for Mimes and Street plays. Watch out for them as convey the harmful impacts of plastics through their performances.

CCC6 team is also actively engaging with children through Drawing competitions and Story-telling sessions to make them aware of the need to conserve the marine life and keep the environment clean. Children are born with a sense of wonder and an affinity for Nature. Properly cultivated, these values can mature into ecological literacy and eventually into sustainable patterns of living. What’s more fun than volunteering with the younger generation and getting amazed by their creativity. If interested to volunteer, please register here and be prepared to face the inquisitive minds as they shoot out the questions.

Way ahead

CTC Ainthinai (Green wing of CTC) organizes Family camping cum Tree Plantation and Maintenance events in Thenneri, Arakonam and few other areas. Interested could register & volunteer in the green events by checking the events posted in FB group Lets Grow Our own Oxygen.

Nizhal also organizes tree walks for students in order to create awareness of the role of trees, planting the right kind of trees and maintaining them. Thanks to the Nizhal volunteers, a dump-yard in Kottupuram is now a beautiful tree park, where tree walks happen very frequently.

The previous two editions of Chennai Coastal Cleanup saw collection and recycling of over 3.3 tonnes of plastics, 4.3 tonnes of Shoes/Slippers, 2.5 tonnes of liquors bottles, 476 Kg of Thermocole and 98 Kgs of metal cans, thus saving 27.8 MWh of energy and over 3, 00,000 liters of water. Also, the plastics collected in Chennai Coastal Cleanup 5 were used for laying Plastic roads in Madambakkam.

This year, we have an ambitious target to collect 50+ tons of waste along the 20 km stretch of Chennai Coastline. Do join us on 7-Jun to clean up the Chennai Coastline by registering here – individuals & group registrations. As a part of India Clean Sweep, few NGOs have teamed up with us for a cleanup drive on the same date in 12 other cities/towns.

We clean up the beaches every year, however the one day cleanup activity is not a magic wand to clear up the 50 tonnes of waste that Chennai generates every day. We appeal to everyone to understand their responsibility towards environment and take a conscious effort in segregating and managing their waste for a better tomorrow.This is not just a one day event but the beginning of a lifestyle change.

Hoping to see you on 7-Jun-2015 to be a part of our history.


Republished and adapted from CTC blog. You can find the original article here.

Chennai Trekking Club (CTC) is a non-profit volunteer based group of nature and trekking enthusiasts which organizes outdoor events on weekends.


I am a nature enthusiast, traveler, gardener and blogger, harbouring crazy dreams of a Clean India. more


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I am a nature enthusiast, traveler, gardener and blogger, harbouring crazy dreams of a Clean India. more

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