(GIST OF YOJANA) Marine Plastics Pollution

(GIST OF YOJANA) Marine Plastics Pollution


Marine Plastics Pollution


  • Marine Plastics pollution is a global menace. There is a need for regular and standardized monitoring of marine litter to understand long-term changes in marine litter pollution and for the successful development and implementation of mitigation strategies. This article discusses coastal clean-up and marine plastics survey in the Indian context with a focus on the Tamil Nadu coast and the way forward.

Land-based sources

  • Jambeck et al. (2015) estimated the global amount of plastic waste that entered the ocean in 2010 from coastal populations living within 50 km of the coastline. 

Ocean-based sources

  • Plastic waste can also enter the ocean directly from ocean-based sources such as the fishing industry, commercial and recreational shipping, and offshore platforms. In 1988, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) prohibited waste dumping from vessels.


  • Plastics are made from non-renewable resources such as crude oil and hence they are hard to decompose as the polymers are bonded through covalent bonds, a strong bonding force. Microplastic is about 5mm in diameter and is always disposed into the environment through anthropogenic sources. They are particularly hard to locate, track and study as they are smaller than what the naked eye can see. 
  • Another major issue with microplastics is that they show a high affinity to other toxicants, making them more dangerous to the organisms ingesting them. The majority of
    the plastic debris (—94%) in the oceans disintegrates into microplastic while the remaining 6% remains as microplastic. This makes it important to study microplastic and their dynamics.

Swachh Sagar, Surakshit Sagar

  • Commemorating the 75th year of India’s independence, a coastal cleanup drive was carried out at 75 beaches across the country for 75 days over 7500 km long coastline. This unique first-ever national campaign culminated on “International Coastal Clean-up Day” on 17 September 2022. This drive was aimed to remove 1,500 tonnes of garbage from the sea coast which will be a huge relief to marine life and the people staying in coastal areas.


  • Many industries employ plastic in various products due to its nature and ease of production. They have certainly helped us enhance the efficiency of products, leading to a constant demand for them. While the petrochemical sector is regarded as the backbone of plastic production, it is also considered a yardstick for measuring global economic growth, wherein plastic processing and production are of vital importance. 
  • It is expected that in the current financial year (2018) exports would cross 8 billion USD with increased growth of 9.5% in the first half of FY 2018 as compared to the past year.
  • It is also envisaged that exports are expected to double in the next five years, owing to the growing domestic production. However, at a matching rate, the volume of plastic waste has also grown over the years, not just in India, but globally. The major challenge, however, is the segregation and re-aggregation of plastic waste streams such as packaging waste, including laminated plastic.



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