The National Institute of Oceanography claimed that the majority of beaches located in Maharashtra are more polluted with microplastics and macroplastics as compared to those in Goa and Karnataka. Tourism activities accompanied by the plastic industry disposals were recorded as the top two factors responsible for these escalated levels of pollution.
“The highest abundance of macro and microplastic contaminants are found on beaches in Maharashtra at the high tide line as compared to Karnataka and Goa,” says the study conducted by the Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO).
The organisation also claimed that the nature of the microplastics along with the macroplastics indicates that the majority of the pollutants are being discharged from the land-based activities involving shore plastic industries, port areas, petroleum industries, and high tourism influx.
The research which was published by Chemosphere entitled ‘assessment of macro and microplastics along the west coast of India: abundance, distribution, polymer type, and toxicity’ primarily dealt with the effect of microplastics on the marine biome along Maharashtra over a span of two years. Plastics less than five millimetres in length are called ‘microplastics’ and the relatively larger particles, of more than 5 mm, are classified as ‘microplastics.’
NIO scientists Dr Mahua Saha and Dr Dushmant Maharana, who were the principal investigators of the project refereed that the plastic wastes collected were of various colours ranging from white, pale yellow, dark brown, green, blue and red titillating the presence of various toxic organic and inorganic moieties associated with this wastes.
NIO is a part of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) based in Goa who suggested that the first thing to curb plastic pollution is by creating awareness. It is indeed true that the first step is taken by the people and their initiatives to make this planet a greener one.
On an additional note, the researchers have suggested that the government should frame policies to shun single-use plastic and increase its recycling, besides conducting community awareness programs frequently.
Note: this post was originally published here.