Afroz Shah and the clean-up revolution
An Indian lawyer from Mumbai started in 2015 the planet’s most polluted beach clean-up, followed by many others worldwide.
Who is the man who started a revolution? His name is Afroz Shah and he is an environmental activist from Mumbai. He is also a lawyer but his fame comes from having organized the world’s largest beach clean-up, then grown into an inspiring movement for thousands of people to return the environmental surroundings the former beauty ruined by pollution.
“I’m an ocean lover. I feel I owe it to my planet to give, give, give. Love is the missing link. The day we realise we love this planet, we will do what has to be done. My whole work comes from that love”. These his inspiring words from the interview by “BrightVibe”.
In 2015 he moved to a community he used to be part of when kid: Mumbai Versova Beach. He had played there so many times, but the sand was no longer visible, as it was covered by a thick layer of garbage more than five feet high, mostly of plastic waste. Something had to change, and Afroz decided to dedicate his mission to save the world’s oceans from plastic pollution.
"The whole beach was like a carpet of plastic," he said. "It repulsed me”. It is predicted that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, while every year 1 million seabirds, 100.000 sea mammals and who know how much fish die from plastic pollution. More than 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean annually, a quantity equivalent to a garbage truck dumped every minute.
In October 2015, every Sunday morning, Afroz started to pick up plastic together with his neighbour. Social media helped a lot to spread the news and more volunteers joined. Versova Beach was finally clean in 2018.
All told, the movement has cleared more than 60 million pounds of garbage, not only in Mumbai but also in other regions of India and in the whole world: more than 300.000 people got inspired by Shah’s work.
“People must accept responsibility for society’s impact on the environment”. He received indeed the honour of “Champion of the Earth” by the United Nations in 2016, while he still continues to work hard and to devote nearly all of his free time to this cause.
Everyone should be taking part in such initiatives to save the environment. In fact, nature influences all human actions, and Soluzioni Plastiche is very aware of it.
In line with our vision of the circular economy and our CallToAction “Living Without Waste”, we participated in the initiative “Save the Planet”, on the occasion of the World’s Clean-up Day, organized by @different_group with the purpose of gathering people from all around Italy and cleaning polluted spots of our cities.
Furthermore, our blog has already spoken about clean-ups with the aim to increase awareness. Visit our article “Plogging: a sport helping the environment” to gain knowledge on this wonderful sport that got started in 2016 and combines physical activity with a very noble cause.