Plastic waste is everywhere! Its been found swaying in forests, or in the deepest trenches of our oceans as marine litter, and even on the tallest mountain in the world Mt. Everest!
Plastic is not the problem by itself, but it is the way we dispose of plastic that is the issue. Researchers have identified plastic waste floating and drifting away to remote islands, in this case, they found plastic from Mainland India along the Andaman and Nicobar Island waters, indicating that marine litter travels far!
The issue of ocean plastic has been raised across many countries and organisation, and in lieu of the growing marine litter United Nations declared 2021-2030 as the decade of “UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development”.
In the light of these developments, India and Japan have joined hands to fight plastic pollution through data collection, advanced scientific research, and development which will aid both governments to roll out helpful policies to address plastic pollution in our waterways.
Since 2018, the National Institute of Ocean Technology (Chennai) has been working towards mapping (spatial-temporal) the extent of plastic waste pollution in the waterways and coastal areas. The findings of this study will assist policymakers in understanding the gravity of the pollution.
Poor sewage, wastewater treatment methods, lack of waste management efforts, increased tourist and illegal dumping of waste along coastlines have resulted in ocean plastic.
The need of the hour is a robust capacity-building program, awareness creation across all walks of life including both public and private sector stakeholders, tourists, and residents, along with stringent rules with an effective implementation that will help fight and plastic pollution.
Recykal’s work towards marine litter over the years has shown incredible participation, which highlights the fact that “if we all work together towards reducing plastic waste, there will soon be a time when the oceans will have more fish than plastic”.