Chandipur beach debris and “United Nations Environment Programme” (UNEP)
Chandipur lies around 200 km from state capital Bhubaneswar. From here, one can either take the train to Balasore, the closest town at a distance of 10 km, and then travel by road, or take the entire journey by road on National Highway 5. One can be assured of a good journey thanks to the green scenery that follows you throughout and good roads. Adding to the peaceful ambience are the swaying casuarina trees and the solitary sand dunes, with the constant hum of the waves as they rise and fall gently. Considering its uniqueness, the beach supports a varied range of biodiversity. It's not rare to thus find a horseshoe crab or red crab crawling beside you. While it's still not very well known among tourists who flock to its cousin beaches of Puri, or the temple destination of Konark, local tourists often visit Chandipur. One of nature's many wonders, the sea recedes massively from the beach during ebb and returns to fill the emptiness during high tide. This hide-and-seek of the sea comes to play twice a day and seeing the sea disappear and then return is an unforgettable experience. But apart from being such a wonder and a beautiful attraction for tourists, Chandipur beach is becomming a site full of non degradable garbage, litters and debris. This problem lies not only with the place mentioned but is wreaking havoc at a global perspective in terms of global impacts.
Lets look up at this problem on a global perspective with reference to UNEP reports.
Solid materials, typically waste, that has found its way to the marine environment and coastline areas is called marine debris or litters. It is probably a common conception that marine debris consists of just a few pieces of rubbish scattered along the strand line of beaches and is of no harm to anyone. Unfortunately this is not the case. Marine debris has become a pervasive pollution problem affecting all of the world’s oceans. It is known to be the cause of injuries and deaths of numerous marine animals and birds, either because they become entangled in it or they mistake it for prey and eat it. Plastic and synthetic materials are the most common types of marine debris and cause the most problems for marine animals and birds. At least 267 different species are known to have suffered from entanglement or ingestion of marine debris including seabirds, turtles, seals, sea lions, whales and fish. The scale of contamination of the marine environment by plastic debris is vast. It is found floating in all the world’s oceans, everywhere from polar regions to the equator. The seabed, especially near to coastal regions, is also contaminated – predominantly with plastic bags. Plastic is also ubiquitous on beaches everywhere from populous regions to the shores of very remote uninhabited islands.
Attempts to address the problem of marine debris range from international legislation to prevent shipping from dumping plastic at sea and campaigns to prevent losses due to poor industrial practice to beach and seabed clean-up operations and public awareness campaigns. Plastic debris originates from a wide and diverse range of sources. Estimates suggest that much of what is found at sea originates on the land.The effect of coastal littering and dumping is compounded by vectors such as rivers and storm drains discharging litter from inland urban areas. It is the very properties that make plastics so useful, their stability and resistance to degradation, that causes them to be so problematic after they have served their purpose.These materials persist in the environment and are not readily degraded or processed by natural biological mechanisms. However plastics in the ocean are weathered; broken up either mechanically or by the action of sunlight into smaller and smaller fragments. Eventually, fragments are reduced to into tiny pieces the size of grains of sand.These particles have been found suspended in seawater...
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