Thursday, August 18

Assessing Marine Plastic Pollution in India

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By Saudamini Das, Prabhakar Jha & Archana Chatterjee

Working Paper No- 389

Rampant use of plastics and inefficient waste management practices have led to the plastic waste being either piled up on dumpsites or finding their way into the open sea contributing to global problem of marine plastic pollution. The marine debris is a matter of grave concern both for marine biota and humans as marine animals habitat is turning into a plastic soup and humans face the risk of major health consequences after consuming plastic ingested sea food. There are also other economic losses like damaged ships, lost fish stocks, reduced tourism, depreciated coastal property values, etc. In India, plastic litter are documented to have caused serious damage to biodiversity in places like Cochin, Lakshadweep,Sutrapada,Vembanad Lake, Chilika Lake, Mandapam, Kilakkarai, Erwadi and Periyapattinam. There are also multiple cases of ingestion and entanglement from plastic debris leading to mortality of marine mammals and birds in the country. This study provides a descriptive picture of marine plastic pollution in India and the consequent future if no or limited action is taken. We have conducted stakeholder discussions and simulation analysis with data from secondary sources to arrive at the findings.

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