Space study fash­ion­able, waste man­age­ment isn’t

The Asian Age - - Discourse - As told to John Mary DR CHRISTO­PHER CHEESEMAN

It is es­ti­mated that there could be more plas­tic in the oceans than fish by 2050, but there hasn't been an es­ti­mate of how much plas­tic is in the oceans. There is also a sig­nif­i­cant de­posit in the sed­i­ment of the ocean. Al­most any­where on the planet we will find parts of plas­tic, not big ones but mi­cro plas­tics.

I wouldn't say it is a late re­al­i­sa­tion. Some of us have been talk­ing about plas­tic in the ocean for many years. Par­tic­u­larly David At­ten­bor­ough showed much through Blue Planet II.

This is a waste man­age­ment prob­lem, not merely a prob­lem of plas­tic. We know in many places in China and In­dia there is no proper waste col­lec­tion sys­tem. As a re­sult, com­mu­ni­ties face a sit­u­a­tion where there is lit­tle op­tion but to put waste into the river and the plas­tic waste thus gets into the sea.

So I can very much be­lieve that most of the poor waste man­age­ment in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries like In­dia and China and other places is the root cause of the prob­lem. There are is­sues in other coun­tries as well, but the ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to plas­tics in the ocean is al­ways poor waste man­age­ment.

A huge eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity arises from in­cor­po­rat­ing good waste man­age­ment. You can say that In­dia is a de­vel­op­ing coun­try, but In­dia has a space pro­gramme for ex­am­ple and has ap­palling waste man­age­ment. So which is the pri­or­ity? Of course, the space pro­gramme is fash­ion­able and waste man­age­ment isn't. But waste man­age­ment is caus­ing huge prob­lems.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.