Topic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.
7) What are microplastics? Discuss the concerns posed by it. What should be the desired plan of action to overcome the threats posed by the same?(250 words)
Why this question:
The article discusses in detail A recently conducted study of microplastics in three coastal cities in the country that has found that the population size has a direct impact on the abundance and nature of microplastics on their seashore. It has also been found that fibrous microplastic is more prevalent than granular microplastics on Indian shores.
Key demand of the question:
Answer is straightforward and is about discussing the concept of microplastics and the issues associated with it along with suggestions of what needs to be done to overcome the menace.
Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer:
In a few introductory lines highlight the context of the question.
- In brief discuss what you understand by microplastics? – Microplastics are tiny particles which are present in many sources, including carry bags and pet bottles. These tiny particles easily pass through water filtration systems and end up in the water bodies, posing a potential threat to aquatic life. Microbeads, a kind of microplastic, are used as exfoliates in some cleansers and toothpastes. Even though banned in US and Canada, microbeads are still used in India.
- How harmful is it? – Microplastics can migrate through the intestinal wall and travel to lymph nodes and other bodily organs, shows the Orb report. Microplastics have also been shown to absorb toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses, and then release them when consumed by fish and mammals. So if plastic fibers are in your water, experts say they’re surely in your food.
- What are the concerns? – It holds the potential for both bioaccumulation and biomagnification.
- What needs to be done?
- Regulations on use of plastics in general and microplastics in particular should be put in place by the government.
- Alternatives should be found to tackle with rising consumerism and the increasing use of plastic in everyday life.
- Invention of new, more readily degradable bio-based materials for the plastics could be a way.
- The entire flow chain from manufacturer to the user to the waste collector and the recycling authority should be made aware of the risks.
Conclude with way forward.