Researchers studying the ecological impact of tourism on Kas plateau have asked visitors to take back all the plastic they bring as there cannot be recycled locally. They found that plastic bottles, alcohol bottles and chips’ wrappers were often left behind by tourists.
“While glass bottles can be resold, the plastic cannot be recycled locally. The villagers have to burn the wrappers, which is harmful for the environment and to the waste pickers,” said Prerna Agarwal, who is conducting the research funded by the UKbased Rufford Small Grants Foundation.
“Instead of littering or throwing plastic wrappers into the bins in the area, it would be better if the tourists take them back, since the waste has to be taken to Satara city,” she said. The study was started in August 2012. It seeks to develop guidelines for eco-tourism in Kas plateau by involving the local community, she added.
Agarwal and Fergusson College student Apeksha Patil studied the solid waste generated in the plateau last year. Four local persons were employed by the joint forest management committee to collect and segregate the waste.