New Delhi: India generates 5.6 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, states a Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report. Our over dependency on plastic and how the water bodies across the world are bearing the brunt of it is evident from the same report that states India accounts for 60 per cent of the plastic waste dumped into the world’s oceans every year. It is not just our water bodies that consume plastic, but we humans too may be ingesting five grams of plastic a week, states a recent study commissioned by the environmental charity WWF (World Wide Fund) International and conducted by University of Newcastle, Australia.
The study released on Wednesday (June 12) highlights the ways in which plastic gets into our body, and what we can do about it. The University of Newcastle is the first to combine data from 52 studies on the ingestion of microplastics by people.
Here are the top 4 findings of the report:
- Consumption of common food and beverages may result in weekly ingestion of 2000 tiny pieces of plastic that is five grams of plastic which is equivalent to eating a credit card. Mathematically, this implies taking in 21 grams of plastic every month and over 250 grams annually.Common food and beverages that contain microplastics are drinking water – both bottled and tap water, beer, shellfish, and salt.
Note: The consumption of plastic completely depends on an individual’s consumption habit.
Also Read: Canada To Ban Single-Use Plastics By 2021, Here Are Some Other Countries Taking Action Against Plastic Waste
- Among the sources of plastic consumption, drinking water plays a major role, across the world. Through water, an average person possibly consumes 1,769 particles of plastic every week. While 182 pieces of plastic are consumed via shellfish, 10 and 11 are from beer and salt respectively.The reason, shellfish is the second largest source of plastic consumption is the fact that shellfish are eaten whole, including their digestive system. Not to forget, shellfish live in plastic polluted seas and consume plastic.
- The amount of plastic present in varied food and beverages varies with the location, suggests the study. The research found water to be less polluted in Europe and Indonesia as compared to the United States, Lebanon and India.While in India, 82.4 per cent of tap water samples contained plastic fibers, with an average of 8 plastic fibers per litre, in Europe, only 72.2 per cent of tap water samples contained plastic fibers with an average of 3.8 plastic fibers per litre.
- The study also noted that indoor air is more plastic polluted than the outdoor, reason being, lack of ventilation. It is believed that synthetic fiber and household dust are two of the major sources of airborne microplastics. Though the findings are limited, but it does hint that microplastics are present in the air and exposure to it vary depending on the lifestyle and local conditions.
Also Read: Combating Indoor Air Pollution: 5 Plants To Make Your Home Clean And Green
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.
While humans are staying indoors due to coronavirus induced lockdown, nature is thriving, healing and highlighting the damage being done to the environment, one of them being plastic pollution