By: Sanjana Bajaj
Abstract-Microplastics and marine plastic pollution is a global crisis that requires
immediate action. Educating people on this issue is essential to ensure that we can
effectively combat it. WasteLess Auroville and the Government of Tamil Nadu
launched an educational programme to raise awareness of microplastics and
marine plastic pollution. This essay will explore why it is important to educate
people on microplastics and marine plastic pollution, and how doing so can help
us address this global crisis.
Microplastics are tiny plastic particles smaller than 5 millimeters in size and can be found in a wide range of products, including cosmetics, clothing, and household items. These particles can end up in the ocean and can be harmful to marine life and the environment. It is estimated that 8 million metric tons of plastic enter our ocean every year, which is equivalent to a garbage truck’s worth of
plastic entering the ocean every minute.
Marine plastic pollution is a major global problem, with millions of tons of plastic entering the oceans each year. It is important to raise awareness about the sources of marine plastic pollution and ways to reduce it. Educational programs can be an effective way to do this, as they can help people understand the impact of their actions on the environment and encourage them to reduce their plastic use. There are many ways that individuals can help reduce marine plastic pollution, including reducing the amount of single-use plastic they use, such as plastic bags, straws, and bottles. Properly recycling plastics and supporting businesses that are actively working to reduce plastic pollution are some other methods. Taking part in beach cleanups is another very effective way to ensure plastic does not enter the ocean. Once the plastic is in the ocean, it decomposes slowly, breaking into tiny pieces known as microplastics, which can enter the marine food chain and become incredibly damaging to sea life. The primary source of ocean plastic pollution is land- based —80% of plastic in the ocean originates on land.
This is exactly why education programmes like the one started by WasteLess Auroville and the Government of Tamil Nadu are extremely important and necessary to raise awareness of microplastics and marine plastic pollution because this issue affects everyone. Microplastics and marine plastic pollution are global problems that are having devastating effects on the environment and human health. Microplastics have been found in the air, in soil, and even in groundwater. Marine plastic pollution is having a devastating effect on marine life, with thousands of marine animals, like sea turtles and seabirds, being killed every year because of ingestion or entanglement in plastic. The health risks associated with microplastics are also a cause for concern, as they can be absorbed into the human body through ingestion or inhalation and can cause a variety of health problems. The educational programme would include:
● A public awareness campaign including the use of social media, video, radio and print to educate the public about microplastics and marine plastic pollution.
● Workshops and lectures conducted by experts on microplastics and marine plastic pollution to help people understand the implications and impacts of these pollutants.
● A public petition and campaign to increase the focus on microplastics and marine plastic pollution in the state.
● Encouragement of local businesses and industries to reduce their use of plastic and find alternatives to plastic packaging.
● Collaborations with other organizations and governments to find solutions to marine plastic pollution.
● Beach clean-ups and other community activities to raise awareness of microplastics and marine plastic pollution.
● Support for research initiatives related to microplastics and marine plastic pollution.
● Development of educational materials for primary and secondary school students about microplastics and marine plastic pollution.
● Creation of a network of stakeholders to ensure continued progress towards reducing marine plastic pollution.
● Awards and recognition for individuals, organizations and industries that are leading the way in reducing microplastics and marine plastic pollution.
An educational programme would be an effective way to raise awareness of the dangers of microplastics and marine plastic pollution and to encourage people to take action to reduce their use of plastics. Through education, individuals can be empowered to make informed decisions about their plastic consumption and help reduce the amount of plastic entering the environment. The programme could also help create a culture of environmental responsibility and encourage people to recycle, reuse, and reduce their plastic use. By launching an educational
programme, WasteLess Auroville and the Tamil Nadu Government can create a lasting impact on the environment and the health of their citizens. In conclusion, educating people on microplastics and marine plastic pollution is essential to effectively address this global crisis. Raising awareness,
empowering people to make positive changes, creating a sense of shared responsibility, and informing policies and regulations can all help to reduce plastic pollution in the long term.
Author’s Bio: Sanjana Bajaj is a third-year student at O.P Jindal Global University majoring in Economics.