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US must cut plastic production to save oceans

The US was the world's "top generator of plastic waste" in 2016, exceeding all European nations combined, The Hill reported recently.

An article, entitled "US must cut plastic production to save oceans," was published on Wednesday, citing a new study by the National Academy of Sciences.

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More than eight million tonnes of pandemic-associated plastic waste have been generated globally

More than eight million tonnes of pandemic-associated plastic waste have been generated globally, with more than 25,000 tonnes entering the global ocean, according to an alarming study. Data from the start of the pandemic in 2020 through August 2021, showed that most of the global plastic waste entering the ocean is coming from Asia, with hospital waste representing the bulk of the land discharge.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, highlighted that most of the global plastic waste from the pandemic is entering the ocean from rivers, with Asian rivers accounting for 73 per cent of the total discharge of plastic. The top three contributors are the Indus, Shatt al-Arab, and Yangtze rivers, which discharge into the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and East China Sea, respectively. European rivers, on the other hand, account for only 11 per cent of the discharge, with minor contributions from other continents.

a facemask thrown ion th eground Most of the global plastic waste from the pandemic is entering the ocean from rivers, with Asian rivers accounting for 73 per cent of the total discharge of plastics. | Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash

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An innovative and low cost machine to pick discarded plastic waste. IANS

A team of students has developed an innovative portable and low-cost machine that efficiently collects discarded plastic bags. According to recent FICCI estimates, India’s per capita plastic consumption which was pegged at 11 kilos per year in 2017 is estimated to rise to 20 kilos per year by 2022, choking landfills, drains, and rivers and flows into the seas endangering marine life.

The machine, created by six final-year engineering students from the Sona College of Technology in Salem, Tamil Nadu, is currently undergoing rigorous trials on the streets, within the Municipal limits, of the steel and textiles town. “The plastic waste collecting device is mounted on a sturdy frame with an infra-red sensor attached to a mobile vacuum chamber. It is capable of sensing plastic on the roads and attract it,” project leader TV Kishore Kumar told IANS.

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Sector-23 market in Gorai a polythene-free zone by January 2021. Flickr

In a first of its kind of initiative, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), is set to declare the Sector-23 market in Gorai a polythene-free zone by January 2021. For this, the civic body has already deputed its staff in the market to keep a constant vigil. The market has nearly 130 shops and more than 50 street vendors, who produce 45kg of plastic waste and polythene every day, said the MCG officials.

“We all know that plastic is harmful to us and our family but why we still use it. If we continue to use it for our own convenience, then it can be difficult for the next generation to breathe. We should stop using plastic from today itself,” said Dheeraj Kumar, Joint Commissioner, Swachh Bharat Mission, MCG. Cleanliness cannot be achieved only on behalf of the government, the Joint Commissioner added.

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