South Asia resolves to mitigate the marine plastic backlash

Indian marine plastic pollution

As Many of South Asia’s rivers Snake across national boundaries carrying loads of plastic waste, a regional approach is vital to stem the surge of lethal waste into the ocean through waterways.

Being the third largest contributor to global plastic waste, eight South Asian countries have come in body to devise strategies against the virulent problem of plastic waste.

A flurry of research by the World Bank group estimates the untapped economic opportunities by using the plastic value chain approach and eco-friendly alternative to abandon the raging throwaway culture ingrained in the societies.

There is a pressing need for global economies to take a shift from disposal consumerism by going back to traditional ways of production for a change. South Asian countries have a rich culture of sustainable living in terms of textiles and other utility crafts,
now is the time to make most of traditional skills as humankind has already dumped unfathomable quantities of plastic for decades.

An estimated 5.2 trillion pieces of plastic are already polluting our ocean, with an additional 8 million tons entering each year.

Last year a $50 million regional project to help South Asia curb its marine plastic pollution and ramp up eco-innovation to reinvent plastic use and production was initiated by the World Bank, Parley for the Oceans, and the South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP).

According to Hartwig Schafer, World Bank Vice President for South Asia, “South Asian countries can grow back stronger after the coronavirus fallout by charting a recovery path where conserving the environment, especially ocean life, is front and center.”

By tackling plastic pollution, South Asia can improve the health outcomes and food security of its people and secure a more sustainable habitat for future generations.

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