Tourists bring a wave of trash to beaches

Tourists bring a wave of trash to beaches


Study by the National Centre of Coastal Research (NCCR) shows concern over rising plastic pollution on Indian beaches.


  • The NCCR conducted analysis of the litter on six different beaches on the eastern and western coasts and found that plastic litter from tourism alone accounted for 40%-96% of all beach litter.
  • Major Source of Plastic pollution on beaches:
    • As per the report tourism and fishing are the biggest culprits.
    • While fishing nets were a major contributor, the processing of fish on the beach also produced a lot of litter.
    • Proportion of biomedical litter was high in urban areas including litter consisted of plastic bottles and thermocol

Chemicals in Plastic

  • Two broad classes of plastic-related chemicals are of critical concern for human health—bisphenol-A or BPA, and additives used in the synthesis of plastics, which are known as phthalates

Impact of Plastic Pollution on beaches:

  • Marine pollution
    • Because it comes in sizes large and small, polluting plastics even affect the world’s tiniest organisms such as plankton and Fishes. When these organisms become poisoned due to plastic ingestion, this causes problems for the larger animals that depend on them for food.
    • Reefs littered with plastic are at least 20 times as likely to have diseased corals as unpolluted reefs
  • Presently, Government is working on an Action Plan to Check Plastic Waste Flowing into Oceans and bring National Marine Litter Policy.

Additional Facts:

  • The Great Pacific Garbage – Patch is also known as a plastic trash vortex or gyre. This area is located in the central North Pacific Ocean and is larger than two States of Texas. There are also patches of garbage in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • National Center of Coastal Research (NCCR)
    • The NCCR programme has been operating on a project mode since 1998.
    • It aims to apply scientific tools and techniques in addressing problems like erosion and ecosystem changes and Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (COMAPS) programme aiming to monitor the levels of marine pollutants in the seas around India.
  • Blue Flag – Is a globally recognised eco-label awarded to beaches and marinas that adhere to strict environmental and safety norms.
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