More microplastics on beaches in Maharashtra, Karnataka than Goa: Study

They claimed to have found a high abundance of microplastics - like films, fibres, fragments and pellets - on the beaches of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Published: 22nd March 2018 02:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2018 02:15 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

PANAJI: Microplastics, one of the carriers of pollution to the marine environment, have been found more on the beaches of Karnataka and Maharashtra as compared to Goa, according to a scientific study.

The microplastics are extremely small pieces of plastic debris in the environment, resulting from the disposal and breakdown of consumer products and industrial waste.

During a study conducted on different beaches along the coast of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa, the researchers found significant variations in the distribution pattern of plastic contaminants on various locations in the three states.

They claimed to have found a high abundance of microplastics - like films, fibres, fragments and pellets - on the beaches of Maharashtra and Karanataka.

"However, comparatively fewer microplastic pellets were found along the coast of Goa," says the research paper of scientists of the Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), one of the constituent laboratories of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The NIO scientists presented the paper, detailing the research on microplastics on the beaches in the three states, during the sixth International Conference on Ecotoxicology and Environmental Science held in New Delhi last month.

"During a comprehensive study on the identification and ecotoxicological impact of microplastics in the coastal Arabian Sea, we observed 5,095 pieces of plastic pollutants in total, ranging from 3 to 100 mm in size, on 10 beaches along the west coast of India during 2016-17," the scientists said in the research paper.

The microplastic pellets, generally of less than 3 mm in size, tend to accumulate persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and easily get transported and enter the marine food chain, they said.

"The microplastic pellets of variable colours were abundant on all the beaches of Maharashtra while a moderate amount were observed along the Karnataka coast and the lowest abundance was found along the coast of Goa," said the paper.

The researchers said these microplastic pellets were made of polyethylene and polypropylene, and a few of them were unidentified polymers.

"Due to the long residence time of microplastics in the sea water and on beaches, specially in polluted marine environments, they tend to adsorb various pollutants, and may act as vector transferring toxic chemicals from the environment to the marine organisms," the paper said.

The researchers claimed that these findings may enhance the understanding about the deleterious impact of microplastics and associated POPs on the marine ecosystem.

This may provide crucial information on the complex chemico-biological interplay and give early warnings of the impending invisible threat, said the study, conducted by NIO's senior scientist Mahua Saha and her team comprising Dusmant Maharana, Chaynika Rathore and R A Sreepada.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp