LET US WAGE A WAR ON PLASTIC
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged the people to observe the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year as a data to make India plastic free and urged municipalities, NGOs and the corporate sector to come up with ways for safe disposal of accumulated plastic.
- Plastics are detrimental to human health because of the chemicals used in their production. These chemicals are used to change the properties of plastics. Humans are exposed to such toxins through air and water, through food such as fish, or direct contact with plastic products.
- If current pollution rates continue, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050, said the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
- Micro plastics (particles of less than 5 mm) such as those used in scrubbers and cosmetics, ingested by marine animals can cause accumulation of certain chemicals and result in physiological impacts. Micro plastics can impair reproduction and development and alter how species function.
- Various studies have shown that once ingested, microplastics can settle in the stomach and lead to reduction in feeding capacity of organisms. They can also be detrimental to the intestinal function and reproductive system.
Common sources of Plastic pollution
- Merchant ships expel cargo, sewage, used medical equipment, and other types of waste that contain plastic into the ocean.
- The largest ocean-based source of plastic pollution is discarded fishing gear (including traps and nets).
- Continental plastic litter such as Food Wrappers & Containers, Bottles and container caps, Plastic bags, Straws and stirrers etc. enters the ocean largely through storm-water runoff.
- The call for a mass movement came after his Independence Day’s address in which he had urged the people to shun single use plastic.
- In his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat, he also asked the people to participate in the annual ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ or ‘quest for cleanliness is service’ campaign, which will begin on September 11.
- “This year, on October 2, when we celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, we shall not only dedicate to him an India that is open defecation free but shall lay the foundation for a new revolution against plastic, by people themselves, throughout the country,” he said.
- Mr. Modi urged all municipalities, municipal corporations, district administrations and gram panchayats, and government and non governmental bodies to make adequate arrangements for collection and storage of plastic waste, and also appeal to the corporate sector to come out with ways and means for appropriate disposal of all accumulated plastic.
- It can be recycled; it can be transformed into fuel. This way we can accomplish our task of ensuring safe disposal of plastic waste before this Diwali,”he said.
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