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Alarming plastic pollution in the Bay of Bengal August 11,2019   |  Source: The Daily Star/Asia News Network

Plastics play a vital role in our daily life. However, plastic debris in the marine environment has serious negative impacts on marine resources, fisheries as well as on the use of coastal areas for tourism. It is also a threat to our precious Blue Economy.

Globally, one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute. Around 8 million metric tons of plastics go into the oceans every year. Over 46,000 pieces of plastics are found in one square mile of ocean. The global production and consumption of plastics have continued to rise and it is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastics than fishes in the world’s oceans.

The Bay of Bengal is rich in marine resources and produces 6 million tons of fish that correspond to nearly 4 percent of the total global catch. It is an important source of animal protein for nearly 400 million people in this region. But the Bay is heavily littered with plastics and huge amounts of plastic waste are found on the shorelines, on the seabed, and suspended in the water column. The corals of St. Martin Island are almost dead, littered with marine debris, plastic packages, and food wrap discarded by hundreds of tourists daily. The Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea are the new plastic hotspots in Asia. Every year about 2 lakh


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