Plastic Garbage? Please clean it up!

Jun 2, 2017

On the eve of World Environment Day, staff from UNDP Uzbekistan joined colleagues from the State Committee of Ecology and Environment Protection of Uzbekistan, and NGO representatives, students, volunteers and journalists, in collecting 1.5 tons of plastic garbage in Tashkent region’s Bostanlyk district.

The Bostanlyk district lies within the State Ugam-Chatkal National Nature Park, and is one of the most popular destinations to visit in Uzbekistan. Its range of landscapes – lowland valleys, high alpine meadows and its glacier – all attract tourists. Left behind are scattered glass and plastic refuse.

“The high peaks of the tourism season are a serious test for the national park,” said Liliya Kuzmina, the main specialist of the Ugam-Chatkal National Nature Park. “The polyethylene bags and bottles left by tourists are not just unpleasant to look at, but they also pose too many threats to ecosystems.”

“The garbage left behind by ‘nature lovers’ are a big threat to flora and fauna - animals often mistake scrap plastic for food, which has understandable negative consequences.”

Through only two hours of cleaning work, covering an assigned area of 7km, participants collected 70 bags of garbage, mostly plastic bottles and polyethylene. The eco-action’s completion was followed with the installation of 20 information boards, with signs ‘Please clean up’, ‘Be responsible for nature’, and ‘Plastic harms nature’.

“Today we have invited the country’s major mass media outlets to be a part of this initiative It is important that people not only see the reports, but also understand how important it is to act collectively in keeping natural environments healthy and minimizing their footprint on nature.” said Victoria Rzaeva, from Uzbekistan’s Committee for Ecology and Environment Protection.

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