Telangana: Efforts to make forests plastic-free set in motion

Hyderabad: The Telangana Forest Department has set up special teams to collect plastic waste and is making efforts in the direction of making forests, tiger reserves, and national parks to be “plastic-free zones.”

Human activity in forest areas, according to forest officials, has directly led to the accumulation of plastic garbage, which has proven to be damaging not only to wildlife but also to the ecosystem. Plastic waste contributes to forest wildfires.

According to the New IndianExpress, The Forest Department has already achieved positive achievements in the Amrabad Tiger Reserve on the Srisailam Highway in this direction. Special squads, which were also constituted recently, will be used in this effort by the department, conducted a special drive at Kanwal Tiger Reserve and cleared some 1,000 kg of plastic from the forest.

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Apart from the two Tiger reserves, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force (HoFF), RM Dobriyal directed officials to extend the plastic recycling process to three national parks — KBR, Mrugavani, and Mahavir Harina Vanasthali. The ‘Plastic Free Zones’ programme would span the natural sanctuaries of Pakhal, Kinnerasani, Pocharam, and Eturunagaram, as well as 109 urban parks.

The Forest Department has also developed recycling stations for the separation of wet and dry trash, as well as streamlining the logistics of transportation to processing facilities. This effort also creates jobs for those who rely on trees for their survival, the department said. As part of encouraging responsible eco-tourism, the forest department has urged those who pass through forests to avoid throwing plastic waste and cigarette buds.

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