INDIA’S 7,500-KM COASTLINE AIMS TO BE PLASTIC FREE
With marine litter, especially micro-plastic becoming major trans-boundary pollution threat, India is firming up a plan to make its 7,500 km of coastline plastic pollution free. As the first step, sensors-equipped floating buoys will be deployed in the ocean to measure marine plastic footprints.
The move comes a year after the UN Environment Programme initiated the global “Clean Seas Campaign” asking the member nations to change their “throwaway habits” before an irreversible damage is done to the seas.
According to an estimate, up to about one million seabirds and 1,00,000 marine mammals die each year from ingesting plastic or by getting tangled in nylon fishing line, nets, plastic can holders, and plastic rope.
In India too, the situation is not encouraging. Various studies have noted that the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean are ingested with pollutants ranging from plastic to oil spills and waste. However, plastic which is the main culprit claims thousands of ocean lives every year. A report too has attributed plastic to be cause of the 80 per cent of the ocean’s pollution.
A senior official from the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences said that as part of this commitment, the Government will establish a national and regional marine litter action campaign as well as a programme to measure the total marine plastic footprint in India’s coastal waters.
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