Forest officials in Tamil Nadu participated in an exercise to remove plastic waste in Rameshwaram area of the state. The cleanliness drive was held on February 12 in the Gulf of Mannar. According to ANI, the participants were trained in scuba diving. This comes after the government introduced stringent provisions including a ban on single-use plastic in the state starting this year. Video The initiative assumes significance considering the importance of the region. The Mannar Gulf has a vital marine ecosystem, which includes coral reefs, salt marshes, algae communities, mangroves, and seagrasses. The reserve includes twenty-one islands where beaches and estuaries are predominant. Tamil Nadu government had implemented a ban on use of single use plastic across the state from January 1, 2019. The decision by the state government in June 2018 coincided with the World Environment Day. Tamil Nadu Plastics Manufacturers\u2019 Association (TAPMA) had termed the state government\u2019s order as discriminatory in nature. This region is also home to the Marine Conservation Society, Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve and the Ram Sethu or Adam\u2019s Bridge. The Gulf of Mannar was established as a biosphere reserve in 1989, which is located on the south eastern tip of India and is near Sri Lanka. The reserve includes twenty-one islands where beaches and estuaries are predominant. According to the Marine Conservation Society it is made up of about 21 islets lying off the coast of the state with an area of 10,500sq km dominantly with marine life.