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Tripura steps forward to save environment, bans plastic

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indiatoday.intoday.in

Plastic bags

Agartala: Tripura has imposed a total ban on the use, manufacture, import, storage and sale of plastic bags in the state in view of its harmful effect on the environment, official said here on Tuesday.

The decision was taken under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and the Plastics Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011, Tripura State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) chairman Amitava Debroy said.

A public notification about it was issued in Agartala on Monday and a fine ranging from Rs.100 to Rs.1,000 has been fixed.

Another senior official of the TSPCB said: “For repeated violation of the ban, the authority would impose a fine of Rs.1 lakh or jail for a maximum term of five years or both.”

“In case of any violation of the government order by any institution or by any industry or by any shop, the TSPCB would issue closure order and also issue order for disconnection of electricity of that institution or industry or shop,” the official added.

TSPCB chairman Debroy, an academician, said: “The government has been observing that the plastic bags are littered around and pose a detrimental effect on the environment and flowing of water through drains and canals.”

“The plastic bags also block gutters and sewers, resulting in unhygienic environment and health-related problems besides water logging in the city, especially during monsoon,” the TSPCB chief added.

According to him, aquatic and terrestrial animals die after consuming such bags. He added these bags arrest the recharging ground water aquifers while harmful chemicals and plastic colours contaminate the soil and water and choke the organisms.

plastic

An aquifer is a body of permeable rock which can contain or transmit groundwater.

The state government originally imposed the ban on plastic bags from January last year, but challenging the state government’s decision, the All India Plastic Industries Association filed a writ petition in the Tripura High Court, which upheld the decision of the state government.

Tripura Science and Technology Minister Bijita Nath on Monday held a meeting with all officials concerned, including police officials, to enforce the government decision.

“The state government has engaged authorised officers who would conduct surveillance and raids on the use, manufacture, import, storage and sale of plastic bags in the state. District-level committees were formed in all eight districts under the chairmanship of the district magistrates to deal with the issue,” the TSPCB chairman said.

“We would give priority to massive awareness before resorting to punitive measures. School students and youths would be involved in the awareness programmes.”

(IANS)

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Plastic Found in 83% Drinking Water on Five Continents, Nobody is Safe

While the health impact of ingesting plastics are unclear, it is not something you would want to consume

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Plastic
A shelf full of various kinds of bottled water is pictured at a supermarket in Beijing. (VOA)
  • Tiny particles of degraded plastic called microplastics found in drinking water
  • Consumption of microplastics by fishes are known to stunt growth, inhibit hatching of eggs and increase mortality rates
  • The tiny pieces of plastic have been found in both, public taps and bottled water

London, September 7, 2017 : Tiny pieces of plastic have been found in drinking water on five continents – from Trump Tower in New York to a public tap on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda – posing a potential risk to people’s health, researchers said on Wednesday.

Plastic degrades over time into tiny particles known as microplastics, which were found in 83 percent of samples from Germany to Cuba to Lebanon analyzed by U.S.-based digital news organization Orb Media.

“If you ask people whether they want to be eating or drinking plastic, they just say, ‘No, that’s a dumb question,’ ” said Sherri Mason, one of study’s authors and a chemistry professor at the State University of New York.

“It’s probably not something that we want to be ingesting, but we are, whether through our drinking water, through beer, juice. It’s in our food, sea salt, mussels. Nobody is safe,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Microplastics of up to 5 millimeters are also in bottled water, she said.

The health impact of ingesting plastics are unclear, but studies on fish have shown they inhibit hatching of fertilized eggs, stunt growth and make them more susceptible to predators, increasing mortality rates.

Microplastics absorb toxic chemicals from the marine environment, which are released into the bodies of fish and mammals who consume them, Orb Media’s chief executive, Molly Bingham, said in a statement.

While many studies have shown the prevalence of microplastics in the world’s oceans, where more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are floating, it is the first time research has been conducted into drinking water. (VOA)

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Uninhabited Island in the Middle of the Pacific Ocean have the Highest Amount of Plastic Debris in the World

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Researchers at the University of Tasmania say remote and uninhabited Henderson Island has the worst amount of plastic pollution in the world. (U. of Tasmania), VOA

May 17, 2017: The beaches on a remote, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean have the highest amount of plastic debris in the world.

Researchers from the University of Tasmania say Henderson Island, which is more than 5,000 kilometer from any major population center, is strewn with roughly 37.7 million pieces of plastic waste.

Put another way, the beaches on Henderson Island are covered with about 671 pieces of plastic litter per square meter, which researchers say is the highest density ever recorded.

“What’s happened on Henderson Island shows there’s no escaping plastic pollution even in the most distant parts of our oceans,” said Jennifer Lavers of the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and lead author of a paper about the pollution in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

ALSO WATCH: 

 Henderson Island, which is part of the UK’s Pitcairn Islands territory, sits right in the middle of the Pacific Gyre current, which makes it a “focal point” for garbage from South America as well as from fishing boats.

Researchers say their sampling of the debris at five sites on the island leads them to believe there is more than 17 tons of plastic on the island and around 3,570 new pieces of litter being deposited every day.

Lavers noted, “It’s likely that our data actually underestimates the true amount of debris on Henderson Island as we were only able to sample pieces bigger than two millimeters down to a depth of 10 centimeters, and we were unable to sample along cliffs and rocky coastline.”

Every year, the world produces some 300 million tons of plastic, much of which is not recycled. Plastic disintegrates very slowly, and when it ends up floating in the ocean, it can lead to “entanglement and ingestion” by animals, birds and fish.

“Research has shown that more than 200 species are known to be at risk from eating plastic, and 55 percent of the world’s seabirds, including two species found on Henderson Island, are at risk from marine debris,” Lavers said. (VOA)

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Programs organised to commemorate the Formation of 1st Bangladesh Government in Agartala

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Tripura State Museum, (representational Image), Wikimedia

Agartala, April 8, 2017: A series of programs will be held in this Tripura capital April 10-11 to commemorate the formation of the first Bangladeshi government here 46 years ago, the organisers said on Saturday.

The event is being organised by the Assistant High Commission of Bangladesh in Agartala, the Dhaka and Agartala chapters of “Friends of Bangladesh” and the Agartala Press Club.

“In a meeting of the then parliamentarians, first Bangladesh government was formed in Agartala on April 10, 1971. To commemorate the day, a series of programmes would be held here,” said Mihir Deb, Agartala chapter President of Friends of Bangladesh, an NGO.

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Deb, a renowned academician, said intellectuals, Bangladeshi MPs, policy makers, former ministers, film makers, artists, performers and veterans of the Bangladesh liberation war will take part in the event.

A seminar will also be held where Indian intellectuals, writers and historians will speak.

A drama would also be staged on April 11 by the Bangladeshi actors to show case the nine-month long independence war and its milieu.

Deb said that in opposition of the then Pakistani rulers, the Bangladesh government with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the first President and Tajuddin Ahmad as the first Prime Minister was covertly functioning from Mujibnagar, formerly known as Baidyanathtala, in Meherpur district of Bangladesh.

The actual capital of that government while in exile was in Calcutta, now Kolkata.

After Sheikh Mujibur Rahman launched a massive guerilla operation against the then Pakistani rulers in March 1971, ‘Mukti Joddhas’ (freedom fighters) fought enemy forces that led to the creation of Bangladesh.

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The nine-month-long ‘Mukti Joddha’ (Liberation War) later turned into a full-scale India-Pakistan war, leading to the surrender of nearly 93,000 Pakistani soldiers in Dhaka on December 16, 1971.

India was the first country to recognise Bangladesh as a sovereign nation.

Historian Bikach Chowdhury said Tripura had six to seven camps in four sectors from where the ‘Mukti Joddhas’ fought Pakistani forces.

“Over 1,600,000 Bangladeshis — a number larger than the state’s then total population of 1,500,000 — had taken shelter in Tripura alone,” he said.

During the war, 10 million men, women and children from then East Pakistan took shelter in West Bengal, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya. (IANS)