The National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), Chennai, after periodic inspection of coastal surveillance and clean-up operations along Indian coast, has found that more than half of marine waste collected between 2018 and 2021 at Indian coasts was single-use plastic.
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences, Dr Jitendra Singh shared the information in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
In his reply, the minister said that the beach litter survey further revealed that the maximum litter accumulation occurs in the backshore than in the intertidal zone. He added that more garbage was being dumped on urban beaches than on rural beaches.
Jitendra Singh said that an increase in the abundance of microplastics is observed along the east coast of India, during the monsoon and a large number of microplastics were found in the estuaries where rivers flow into the sea.
In the past 70 years, our plastic consumption has increased by 99.57 percent. Half of the 350 million metric tonnes of plastic has been produced in the last 10 years, say multiple reports.
More than half of the plastic production is of single-use plastic, which consists of low-density polyethene, high-density polyethylene, PP, polystyrene and PET. methane and ethylene solar radiation produce greenhouse gases, which could further harm the environment.
Types of marine litter on the Indian coasts
|A||Nylon/HDP ropes/fishnet pieces/long lines|
|B||Plastics (covers, carry bags, sachets, PET bottles (beverages, drinking water, medicine etc.), containers of milk, creams, oil, ointments, toothpaste etc.)|
|C||Synthetic slippers/footwear (other than leather items)|
|D||Glass bottles, electric bulbs, CFL bulbs|
|E||E-waste (TV/computer hard wares, mobile phone handsets or parts, chargers, battery-operated toys, CDs, etc)|
|F||Thermocol, PUF insulators of AC/fridge, Styrofoam, etc|
According to the World Ocean Network, in many developing countries, 90 percent of wastewater and 70 percent of industrial waste are discharged without treatment. In May, nearly 414 million plastic pieces, including one million shoes and 3,70,000 toothbrushes, were found on an island of the Indian Ocean.