Most of the fishing harbours and beaches adjacent to fishing villages have occurrence of "high" beach litter, the government said Monday.
In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma said plastic litter from tourism accounted for 40 per cent at Elliot's Beach in Chennai and
96 per cent at Gopalpur Beach in Odisha.
He said in recent years, plastic pollution has been identified as a key component of marine debris in beaches all over the world.
Among different coastal segments studied, beach pollution was observed to be high at places that were in close proximity to the river mouths.
The beaches adjacent to rivers exhibit relatively higher beach debris compared to those influenced by tourism and fishing activities, the minister said.
"According to the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), studies on qualitative analysis of litter on different beaches along the east and west coast of India shows that plastic litter from tourism accounted for 40 per cent at Elliot's Beach in Chennai and 96 per cent at Gopalpur Beach in Odisha," he said.
Indian beaches attract thousands of tourists and the hotels and small-time vendors operating at the tourist hot spots eventually contribute to plastic waste such as single use carry bags, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, packing materials, styrofoam food wrappers or containers, straws and plastic tea cups, which results in beach littering, he pointed out.
"The recent studies carried out by the Environment Ministry and Ministry of Earth Sciences reveal that most of the fishing harbours and beaches adjacent to fishing villages have occurrence of high beach litter.
"Being the most important fishing states, Kerala and Karnataka beaches, especially Fort Kochi (in Kerala) and Karwar (in Karnataka) have profound influence of beach debris, especially synthetic materials like biologically non-degradable nylon fabrics, widely used in the preparation of fishing nets," Sharma said.
The minister was asked whether according to a recent study by the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), India had to cope up with a new category of pollution--beach pollution-- in addition to the existing water and air pollution.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)