Plastic remain major concern for the land of Sun, Seafood  and Feni

Plastic remain major concern for the land of Sun, Seafood  and Feni… Even though Goa has declared war on plastic pollution, there is a lot to be done still. Locals and tourists need to be sensitised about the hazards of pollution and littering. The effects on the environment are nothing short of catastrophic. Garbage treatment plants and organic waste management facilities are the need of the hour.

Tourists who have no respect for the environment are unwelcome anywhere if you ask me. Thankfully a number of ‘green initiatives’ have taken off to rein in the garbage menace. You could be fined Rs. 2,000 for drinking beer on a Goa beach, but now, 10 beer bottle caps or 20 used cigarette butts can fetch you a beer in Goa, if you exchange them at a pop-up waste-bar. The idea is to engage beach visitors in activities that create awareness about environment and conservation, while also cleaning the beaches.

The waste-bar is a hangout of sorts, where one can exchange segregated garbage for a drink. The initiative kicked off on January 30, when the first of the pop-up waste-bars opened up at the Zanzibar shack, located at the beach end of the popular Tito’s Lane in the North Goan beach village of Baga. The waste-bar will pop up in various venues in the next few months.

There is now almost no place in the ocean anymore that is not polluted by plastic. Almost all marine organisms have at least a bit of plastic inside their guts, which is obviously not good for them. We humans belong to a throwaway culture where we use and throw plastic that finally reaches the sea through river or land run-offs. Under hot and humid conditions, plastic litter on beaches becomes brittle and reaches into the sea in the form of micro plastics.

Among other things, the waste items collected during the campaign will be used to create various useful items including music instruments during workshops… Small steps but somewhere along the line it has started – taking charge of the pollution of our beaches, coastlines and oceans. We cannot look away anymore… If you see plastic floating around in the waves or stuck on the beach, just collect it – bin it – feel good!

It is time we encourage more people to show care, love and preserve Nature and promote sustainable living.

Measuring less than 5mm in length — or the size of sesame seed — micro plastics are created when large plastic debris degrades into tiny pieces. When micro plastics float in the sea, they get ingested especially by filter feeders such as clams, krill, baleen whales and flamingos. Plastic debris also sits on the sea bed, and can release toxic chemicals like polychlorinated biphenyls due its interaction with water.

A study also found that all seven species of turtles are known to ingest or get entangled in plastic debris in the sea, while more than 700 species of marine organisms are in danger of extinction. The beautiful land of sun, sand and beaches, Goa is slowly losing its charm because of the growing amount of waste generation, calculating to over 600 tonnes per day. Of this total waste generated each day, most of it is litter.

What Goa really needs to take charge of is the contamination and garbage on its beautiful beaches. Goa’s beaches have the highest concentration of plastic debris in India, says a study by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Kochi. Every metre of beach sand in Goa has an average 25.47g of plastic. The total litter, including nylon fishing nets, glass, e-waste, Styrofoam and thermocol, is 205.75g/m2 — the highest in the country.

Plastic is also a huge concern. Plastic items comprise sheets and single-use carry bags, sachets of detergents, containers used to pack milk, cosmetics, oil, toothpaste and PET bottles. Experts say apart from the muck on the beaches, plastic debris is a threat to marine life – from whales to turtles and coral reefs to sea birds – and potentially humans through the food chain.

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