Analysis by NGO reveals microplastics in Ganga

Source: The Hindu

What is the News?

A Study titled ‘Quantitative analysis of Microplastics along River Ganga’ has been released by a Delhi-based environment NGO, Toxics Link.

About the Study:
  • The study was carried out in collaboration with the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in Goa.
  • It studied the water samples at Haridwar, Kanpur, and Varanasi along River Ganga.
Key Findings of the study:
  • Ganga is heavily polluted with microplastics at Varanasi, Haridwar, and Kanpur.
  • Among the three cities, the water samples at Varanasi showed the maximum load of microplastics as compared to the other two cities.
    • This might be due to cumulative downstream pollution as well as industrial and human activities.
What are Microplastics?
  • Microplastics are defined as synthetic solid particles sized ranging from 1 micrometre to 5 millimetre (mm) which are insoluble in water.

Source of Microplastics in Ganga River: Microplastics are recognised as a major source of marine pollution. Several sources of it include:

  • Untreated sewage from many cities along the river’s course enters into the river.
  • Industrial waste and religious offerings wrapped in non-degradable plastics pile pollutants enter into the river as it flows through several densely populated cities.
  • The plastic products and waste materials released or dumped in the river break down and are eventually broken down into microparticles.
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