Dear Tiger Lovers,
We came across a terrible news yesterday when a tourist photographed the 2 yr old Sultan chewing on a plastic bag, totally unaware of it’s consequences. Research has shown that ingestion of plastic debris results in clogging of intestines leading to death due to choking or starving.
The environmental impacts resulting from the accumulation of plastic waste are huge and increasing. Plastic debris affects wildlife, human health, and the environment. The millions of tons of plastic bottles, bags, and garbage in the world’s oceans are breaking down and leaching toxins posing a threat to marine life and human. Plastic materials in landfills sink in harmful chemicals into groundwater. Chemicals added to plastics are dangerously absorbed by humans like altering hormones. The current mass packaging and other short-lived applications of plastic is simply not sustainable and acceptable. There are solutions, including material reduction, design for end-of-life re-cyclability, increased recycling capacity, development of bio-based feedstocks, strategies to reduce littering, and the change of consumer behavior. Consumers are a major actor and can minimize or eliminate the use of short-lived applications of plastic (e.g., water bottle, plastic bags). There needs to be some urgency, as the quantity of plastics produced in the first 10 years of this century is likely to approach the quantity produced in the entire last century!
The guides & drivers of Tiger Trackers have been trained to pull over while on a safari, collect plastic debris and dispose them off at designated places outside the park. But there is only so much we can do. The process of educating tourists to refrain from littering our jungles is a never ending one & all of us need to make a collective effort to stop this irresponsible & disgusting behavior !
We thank our good friend Dhirendra Godha, the editor-in-chief of the Daily newspaper, Samachar Jagat for letting us share this shocking image.