Plastic pollution is booming from coronavirus and will get worse after the pandemic

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Jun 09, 2020, 10:28 PM(IST)

Plastic waste crisis Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Each year -- over eight million metric tonnes of plastic waste is generated in China. Over three million metric tonnes of this waste ends up as plastic marine debris.

China is the top source of plastic bottles, bags and other rubbish clogging up global sea lanes, according to the latest country-wise data available. 

Each year -- over eight million metric tonnes of plastic waste is generated in China. Over three million metric tonnes of this waste ends up as plastic marine debris.

To find out what happens to this plastic in our oceans. Let's go back to the petri dish next to the mullet fish. Each time -- this is what needs to be cleaned out before serving the famous grey mullet fish.

If you toss the fish directly into the pant. This toxic plastic waste will end up on your plate. In the southern Chinese territory.

At least 170 marine species, including mussels, lobsters and silver herring have been found with microplastic inside them. Researchers at the University of Georgia say China and Indonesia alone are responsible for around five million tonnes of plastic waste ending up at sea each year.

That's one-third of total plastic debris in global waters. The Philippines and Vietnam are next on the list. Thailand and Malaysia too figure in the list of the top ten ocean polluters.

Hardly surprising — As east and south-east Asia together generate 60 per cent of the global plastic waste and then there's Bangladesh

Cheap labour has turned these countries into global manufacturing hubs especially -- packaging and textiles. These industries generate the most amount of plastic waste in the world.

Improper waste management methods in these middle and lower-income coastal countries mean plastic waste inevitably finds its way into the oceans. More advanced countries are guilty too, the 23 EU coastal countries release as much plastic debris as the united states. Plastic waste is a serious challenge for the natural world.

And despite that Plastic production is only going to increase. More than 40 per cent by 2030, now — environmentalists are posing another big question.

Plastic pollution in oceans will get worse after the Covid-19 pandemic. Much of the personal protective equipment -- like gloves, face masks and gowns -- are only used once. Surgical masks have already begun to wash up on our beaches. Each day -- China alone is making over 200,000 masks.

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