- Recently the pristine beaches of the Great Nicobar Island, India’s southernmost territory, are under threat from plastic. A survey of five beaches in the islands recorded the presence of plastic bottles.
Key Findings of the survey:
- “Major portion of the litter (40.5%) was of Malaysian origin. It was followed by Indonesia (23.9%) and Thailand (16.3%).
- The litter of Indian origin only amounted to 2.2%
- About 10 countries including India contributed to the plastic litter in the island. They were Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, India, Myanmar, China and Japan.
- The overwhelming contribution from Indonesia and Thailand was likely due to its proximity to the island; the plastic is likely to have made its way to the island because of water currents via the Malacca Strait, which is a major shipping route.
- The huge quantities of marine debris observed on this island might be due to improper handling of the solid waste from fishing/mariculture activity and ship traffic
- However, the researchers also point out that litter of Indian origin on beaches and mangroves of the Andaman Islands is continuously increasing. This is probably due to lack of proper guidelines and inadequate staff to monitor these islands, they said.