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Kerala cultural extravaganza in London’s Trafalgar Square

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Trafalgar Square in London reverberated to the beat of the ‘chenda’ drums as the fluid movements of ‘Kathakali’ dancers mesmerised more than 50,000 people gathered there to witness a Kerala Tourism-organised performance, an official release here said on Monday.

There were presentations in the ‘Mayor of London’ event in the British capital on Sunday that included a series of traditional music, dance and martial arts performances as part of promoting Kerala.

Kerala chief secretary Jiji Thomson introduced the cultural extravaganza to the audience at the function attended by Deputy Mayor of London Roger Evans.

“Kerala is a top destination on the world tourism map because of the harmony between our land and culture as seen in the beautiful backwaters, majestic hills or calm country sides in the state,” said Thomson.

“Investing in Kerala’s tourism sector is being part of the mission to save the nature and the planet as we are the world leaders in practising sustainable and responsible tourism,” said the top bureaucrat.

Britain is the biggest tourism market for Kerala with 151,497 travellers from there having visited the south Indian state last year.

The Kerala delegation also met prominent tour operators and top media persons in London to promote the ‘Visit Kerala’ campaign.

“We are confident of a major increase in foreign tourist arrivals in the state during the ‘Visit Kerala’ year and beyond,” said Kerala Tourism secretary G. Kamala Vardhana Rao.

Kerala Tourism will also participate in the influential World Trade Mart (WTM) in London, to be held from November 2 to 5, and with the who’s who of global travel and tourism industry attending.

(IANS)

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Britain To Ban Sale Of Plastic Straws In Bid To Fight Waste

Britain planning to ban the sale of Plastic products

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An alternative for plastic straws.
Stainless steel straws are displayed at the cooperative Sin Plastico (Without Plastic), which offers environmentally friendly household items free from plastic materials and packaging, in Bilbao, Spain, April 6, 2018. Britain plans to ban the sale of plastic straws and other single-use items. VOA

Britain plans to ban the sale of plastic straws and other single-use products and is pressing Commonwealth allies to also take action to tackle marine waste, the office of Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May said.

It said drink stirrers and cotton buds would also be banned under the plans.

May has pledged to eradicate avoidable plastic waste by 2042 as part of a “national plan of action.”

“Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world, which is why protecting the marine environment is central to our agenda at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting,” May said in a statement ahead of a Commonwealth summit Thursday.

A woman drinking from plastic straw
A woman drinks from a paper cup through a plastic straw on Westminster

Leaders from the Commonwealth — a network of 53 countries, mostly former British colonies — are meeting in London this week.

May is looking to deepen ties to the Commonwealth as Britain seeks to boost trade and carve out a new role in the world ahead of the country’s departure from the European Union in March next year.

Britain will commit 61.4 million pounds ($87.21 million) at the summit to develop new ways of tackling plastic waste and help Commonwealth countries limit how much plastic ends up in the ocean.

“We are rallying Commonwealth countries to join us in the fight against marine plastic,” May said.

Also Read: Plastic-Eating Enzyme Accidentally Developed By Scientists

“Together we can effect real change so that future generations can enjoy a natural environment that is healthier than we currently find it.”

The statement said environment minister Michael Gove would launch a consultation later this year into the plan to ban the plastic items. It gave no details who the consultation would be with.  VOA

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