On the eve of this most joyous of World Environment Days, hundreds of Indian volunteers have assisted in cleansing a beach of its 160 tons of collected filth.

Over 2,000 volunteers spent their Sunday picking up plastic trash on the 2-mile stretch of Versova Beach in Mumbai, India.

The movement was led by lawyer Afroz Shah, who has spent the last 87 weekends organizing community clean-ups on the beach. In honor of the holiday, however, he was also joined by several teams of volunteers from local businesses and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

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In addition to picking up the trash, the group planted over 500 coconut trees, 100 of which were donated by UNEP. The community hopes to plant another 2,500 trees in order to create a “coconut lagoon”, which they hope will become a tourist hotspot. The coconuts will also provide a source of income for local merchants.

“Before this movement, we were helpless when we saw garbage affecting the marine life, but nothing was done about it,” a local fisherman told the IndiaTimes. “However, after the clean-up drive, we can see the difference. We have realized that if the entire fishing community of Versova comes together, there will be no plastic in sight.”

(WATCH the Times of India video below) – Photo Credit: screenshot Times of India video

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