TODAY -

Ending Plastic Pollution - Earth Day 2018

Mayanglambam Ojit Kumar Singh *

Albatross, victim of plastic ingestion. Photo: Unknown (source: http://plastic-pollution.org/)
Albatross, victim of plastic ingestion. Photo: Unknown (source: http://plastic-pollution.org/)



The twenty seven year old Russian Yuri Gagarin who in April 12, 1961 became the first human in space said "I see Earth - it is so beautiful." Vostok, the world's first spaceship with Yuri Gagarin on board was launched into orbit from the Soviet Union on 12 April 1961. It completed the historic 108-minute flight orbiting once around Earth, an electrifying moment of the world of 1961.

And very interestingly Alexander Von Humboldt more than one hundred forty years before Gagarin described the beauty of Earth from space expressed in his Personal Narrative the grounded beauty as, "The beast of the forest retire to the thickets; birds hide themselves beneath the foliage of the trees, or in the crevices of the rocks. Yet amid this apparent silence, when we lend an attentive ear to the feeblest sounds transmitted by the air, we hear a dull vibration, a continual murmur, a hum of insects that fill, if we may use the expression, all the lower strata of the air.

Nothing is better fitted to make man feel the extent and power of organic life. Myriads of insects creep upon the soil, and flutter around the plants parched by the ardour of the Sun. A confused noise issues from every bush, from the decayed trunks of trees, from the clefts of the rocks, and from the ground undermined by the lizards, millipedes, and cecilias. There are so many voices proclaiming to us, that all nature breathes; and that, under a thousand different forms, life is diffused throughout the cracked and dusty soil, as well as in the bosom of the waters, and in the air that circulates around us."

Everywhere on our planet is full of life. Infinite variety of domicile which the earth offers is amazingly bewildering .Our Earth is full of beautiful creatures and colours fill every nock and corner. Abundant varieties of beautiful and overwhelmingly useful species of plants , animals and microbes adorn every inch of the earth. Indeed to many the smell of the freshly cut harvest , the breeze that brought wavy movements among the paddy fields are more refreshing than the development goals which countries today aspire.

However, never did we realize that our efforts to make ourselves more comfortable, richer, longer and healthier have all the means to make this beautiful Earth less beautiful and inhospitable for many a loving creatures. Understanding that our environment is important and at the same time it is fragile is environmental awareness. And this awareness is one of the most seriously needed issues that need to be mainstreamed today.

April 22 every year is celebrated as the Earth Day since 1970. This day is always accompanied by various events held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. Earth Day events in more than 193 countries are now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. The genesis of this annual event was the dreadful incident of January 28th, 1969 when a well drilled by Union Oil Platform A off the coast of Santa Barbara, California blew out.

It is reported that three million gallons of oil or more than that spewed, killing over 10,000 seabirds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions. This disaster mobilized activists to create environmental regulation, environmental education, and Earth Day. Selma Rubin, Marc McGinnes, and Bud Bottoms, founder of Get Oil Out were some of the important proponents of Earth Day.

Earth day and its relevance today:

"Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
the most beautiful planet in the universe
all the continents and the oceans of the world
united we stand as flora and fauna
united we stand as species of one earth
black, brown, white, different colours
we are humans, the earth is our home.
Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl
the most beautiful planet in the universe
all the people and the nations of the world
all for one and one for all
united we unfurl the blue marble flag
black, brown, white, different colours we are humans, the earth is our home.
"

The above poem-song penned by Indian poet and diplomat Abhay K is "Earth Anthem".

Among the environmental events celebrated across the globe, the Earth Day is becoming one of the most widely celebrated one. The day is taking a major role of giving awareness, understanding and appreciation of the uniqueness and the importance of the natural environment.

The uniqueness of the incredible biodiversity of the planet Earth lies in its life giving property. The Earth Day is celebrated with activities to help understand the biodiversity, how to protect the components of the environment to sustain the relationships that every creature has with its environment. It's a platform for mainstreaming the issues of environment in politics, scientific development, livelihood programs and to support the environmental protection activities.

The Earth Day 2018 is focusing on mobilising the world to End Plastic Pollution, including creating support for a global effort to eliminate single-use plastics along with global regulation for the disposal of plastics. The related activities will educate millions of people about the health and other risks associated with the use and disposal of plastics, including pollution of our oceans, water, and wildlife, and about the growing body of evidence that decomposing plastics are creating serious global problems.

According to Edward O Wilson popularly known as the father of Biodiversity, the totality of life, known as the biosphere to scientists and creation to theologians, is a membrane of organisms wrapped around earth so thin it cannot be seen edgewise from a space shuttle, yet so internally complex that most species composing it remain undiscovered.

From the highest peak of the world to the floor of the deepest ocean, creature of one kind or the other inhabit virtually every inch of the planetary space. They are known to obey the fundamental principle of biological geography, that wherever there is liquid water, organic molecules, and an energy source, there is life. What is worrying today is that the ever presence of the polluting plastic in the sources of water.

Water, the elixir of life, is heavily polluted by the plastics. The demand for plastics is alarmingly increasing for manufacturing range of products. From poisoning and injuring marine life to the ubiquitous presence of plastics in our food to disrupting human hormones and causing major life-threatening diseases and early puberty, the exponential growth of plastics is threatening our planet's survival.

Earth Day Network, the organization that leads Earth Day worldwide, has built a multi-year campaign to End Plastic Pollution.

The End Plastic Pollution campaign of EDN consists of components such as leading a grassroots movement to support the adoption of a global framework to regulate plastic pollution; educating, mobilizing and activating citizens across the globe to demand that governments and corporations control and clean up plastic pollution; educating people worldwide to take personal responsibility for plastic pollution by choosing to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastics, and promoting local government regulatory and other efforts to tackle plastic pollution.

The Plastic waste management rule, 2016 of our country needs to be more focused and evolving. Responsibility of the local bodies as well as the locals as regards to the plastics and plastic wastes must be properly rational and scientific.

Setting up of the infrastructure for segregation, collection, storage, transportation, processing and disposal of the plastic waste either on its own or by engaging properly equipped and knowledgeable agencies or producers are strongly needed instead of dumping in the dumping grounds and informal recycling units.

It is becoming increasingly clear that plastic in our oceans and many aquatic ecosystems is a core threat to marine or aquatic life in the decades to come. Some of the recent studies indicate that approximately 5 trillion pieces of plastic are estimated to be floating around the world's oceans. To make matters worse, marine experts believe the total weight of plastic in our oceans could outweigh fish in the world's oceans by 2050.

According to a report from the National Geographic, people throw away roughly four million tons of trash every day—that's enough to fill 350,000 garbage trucks or 10 Empire State Buildings. About 12.8 percent of that waste is plastic, which causes big problems for wildlife because some animals consider plastic products as food, while others can become entangled in the trash. With an increasing amount of plastic discarded in oceans, deaths of marine animals is becoming so common.

Animals are dying not because of empty stomachs but due to full stomachs, stomachs full of toxic plastics. Plastic products are affecting the wildlife, habitats for myriads of species including humans. Plastics are inexpensive and durable but too slow to degrade. Hence increase use leads to uncontrolled accumulation and expensive management procedures. Plastic pollution pollutes people, economies, lives and makes the future really very tense.

Ecological crisis due mainly to man made products is becoming a new norm today. Awareness, understanding, and relationships that are there in the nature or in our surrounding environment are small steps but if implemented and respected will surely lead to a sustainable solution for a sustainable future. Let's retain the Earth and keep it still as an oasis for all the lives big and small.

Hope the Earth will still be beautiful from the space or still be thrilling and mesmerizing for thousand Gagarins and Hamboldts to come in the future.


* Mayanglambam Ojit Kumar Singh wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is Assistant Professor, Zoology Department, Ramjas College, Delhi University and Research Scholar at School of Human Ecology, Ambedkar University Delhi
The writer can be contacted at ojit102005(AT)yahoo(DOT)co(DOT)in
This article was webcasted on April 23 , 2018.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Pena - A spike fiddle of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • 3rd Meet-the-minister
  • Minimising wastage
  • Fractured life :: Poem
  • Strengthening law and order & peace
  • National Entrepreneurship Olympiad
  • Different take on glorifying Manipuri warriors
  • What is it that Manipur wants?
  • Kwak Tanba @Sana Konung #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • 10th Anniversary of PCRM
  • Shri Krishna devotion in Sankirtan #2
  • Every girl child must be digitally empowered
  • Myths about hair care
  • Condemn Poll related violence in Andro
  • Anti-drug crusader seeking public mandate
  • Of news makers & others : Unwitting help?
  • Athuan Abomai funeral : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Mirabai Chanu - Daughter of Meira Paibis
  • Appeal to govt for ST recommendation
  • Entrepreneurship through Mushroom
  • My best Friend :: Poem
  • 'needs for preserving culture'
  • Authorities in denial mode on deforestation
  • Mount Manipur
  • Legal Outreach Program [Oct 16] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Outreach Programme in villages of Manipur
  • We belong with you :: Poem
  • The man with a golden heart
  • Yuva Shakti - Sports to Start-ups
  • Three Durgas - Micro, Small & Medium
  • General strike [October 15] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Nobel for journalists, Wow !
  • No Health without Mental Health
  • Seriously, what are we waiting for? :: Poem
  • Breeding management of dairy cows
  • Poor roads impeding development goals
  • Drop in new cases
  • Bor khoiramnaba @Hiyangthang #1 : Gallery
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Steeper climb for female to civil service
  • World Food Day 2021
  • Journey of Covid vaccination so far
  • Vitamins for beauty
  • The Killing Fields 2021 :: News Timeline
  • Pravish case: Will justice be delivered ?
  • Racing towards Goonda Raj ?
  • A tribute to Padmashri Thongram Haridas
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Shri Krishna devotion in Sankirtan #1
  • Malaria vaccine: Vital addition to toolkit
  • Drizzle :: Poem
  • Environment protection under Constitution
  • It's election time, 'CM Da Haisi'
  • Firing on a funeral service
  • Tungjoy, Senapati District : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • I-FLOCS eSYMPOSIA Manipur, 2021 held
  • Meaning of Life :: Poem
  • To love is to let go
  • Intl Conference @RGU, Arunachal [Oct 12]
  • Licence to abet violent polls
  • Not the time to let the guards down
  • Mai-Own : Manipur products #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • RIST Popular Talk -50 : Nobel Prize
  • Helpline on World Mental Health Day
  • Career options in Mental Health
  • International Conference at RGU, Arunachal
  • 'Houseful' BJP no guarantee to retain power
  • Ugly unfolding of events
  • 125th Jananeta Irawat Day #2 : Gallery
  • Tamenglong & Noney Projects : Gallery
  • Maisnam Meiraba: Men's Singles @ Bulgaria
  • A divided world :: Poem
  • Gandhi Account
  • Haplessness of voters
  • Lining up for the saffron party
  • Cosmos Fest @ Maram [7 Oct] #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Veg-in-a-Basket recognises its farmers
  • World Mental Health Day 2021
  • The fog always lifts :: Poem
  • Probable future of learning
  • Pest and disease management
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2022
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • The power of laughter
  • Yet to come :: Poem
  • Keidoubagi Kidoino Shumang Leela
  • Sadbhavna Mandaps in Kangpokpi
  • Best chance to prevent virus deaths
  • What should Manipur look forward to?
  • Abonmai: Shutdown- 4 Oct #3: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Folk Tale Tapta: Some Observations
  • Victoria's Secret
  • Training on Mushroom Cultivation
  • Night inspection of Prime Minister
  • New country roads promise...faster, quicker
  • Pact with Abonmai JAC silence detractors?
  • Probe for 30 days; job promise
  • Irawat Day @ Pishum : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Karishma Chanu : 2nd @ World Bodybuilding
  • Justice for Late Athuan Abonmai
  • Story to tell :: Poem
  • TIME2021 :: For Math Teachers & Educators
  • Wildlife Week, celebration of nature 2021
  • Vice President's wake-up call
  • Eyes now on Delhi for some days
  • Raas Lila and Shumang Lila
  • Abonmai: Shutdown- 4 Oct #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • India Vice President visited IBSD, Takyelpat
  • Wake up :: Poem
  • Preserve trees when building a new house
  • Forgotten concern in economic governance
  • Launch of drone project for vaccination
  • The virus is still out there
  • Abonmai: Shutdown- 4 Oct #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • International Day of Non-violence
  • The cowboy dream
  • I may not be human but... :: Poem
  • Taking Kohima and Dispur on board
  • Building Cultural Competence
  • Case dip no guarantee Covid is over
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Meeting at Hojai, Assam on ST status
  • In my garden of life :: Poem
  • The colored lens of life
  • Get rid of dandruff
  • 2022 polls: Different dilemmas ..
  • BJP on the swing
  • Issues galore for polls
  • Abonmai: Tamenglong Rally- 29 Sep: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipuri Nata Sankritana Mahajyaga
  • 'Cleanliness Drive' on 'Gandhi Jayanti'
  • Intricacies of intending candidates
  • Why cage ourselves ? :: Poem
  • Gandhi Jayanti observed at Manipur Univ
  • Sit-in Abonmai killing [1 Oct] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Legal Services Week
  • Ningmareo Shimray, Natl Teacher Awardee
  • Phytobiotics as antibiotic growth for animal
  • Hindi Pakhavaada (Fortnight) Tamasha!
  • Pan-India Awareness & Outreach Campaign
  • The start & where to ? Stepping into Oct
  • 125th Jananeta Irawat Day #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Dr N Raghumani: CRSI Bronze Medal Award
  • Abonmai Killing: Protest [27 Sep]: Gallery
  • Irawat Day celebrated at Lilong
  • The interview
  • Strength training for young & old
  • Vaccination drive : need of the hour
  • Irabot Day: Time to contemplate
  • Bishwamitra Chongtham - Boxing: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • October Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Melei Charong @ Pune [26 Sep]: Gallery
  • Thangol maya thangu thouna hey lao-uba
  • Lecture: Spectroscopy on Material @ MU
  • Quest :: Poem
  • 10th AGM / Cultural program of AMAND
  • Average testing rate keeps alive virus threat
  • A look at the coming Assembly polls
  • New paradigm transforming North East
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • 23rd Morung Dialogue: .. Cultural Heritage
  • Nata Sankirtana @JNMDA Imphal [28 Sep]
  • World Heart Day 2021
  • Book published on Irabot Day :: Download
  • Adieu ! Oja Raghu Leishangthem
  • Yet another Tourism Day for formality
  • Quick speed in picking up 2 suspects
  • Vanijya Utsav @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Zeliangrong and Athuan Abonmai
  • Irawat the Legend #3
  • Three ladies :: Poem
  • World Tourism Day 2021
  • Task cut out for NIA
  • Low count of daily cases in last days
  • Harup Waterfall, Kangpokpi Dist #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Jadonang's Legacy : Talk- Rongmei Scholars
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2021 #4: Gallery
  • Let it go :: Poem
  • Need a beauty fridge for skincare products?
  • Same old Imphal-Jiri road during monsoon
  • 'Taken note of camps' of the NSCN (IM)
  • Imphal Ring Road and violations
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Schools in Jiribam : Gallery
  • Condemns attack on Student at B'lore
  • World Lung Day 2021
  • Equal pay for work of equal value
  • Training on Mushroom Cultivation
  • The sixth sense manifest :: Poem
  • Tarpon Katpa @ Loktak #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Land transfer commotion in Jiribam
  • Seminar On Youth & Environment organised
  • Irawat the Legend #2
  • 6 from Manipur cleared Civil Services Exam
  • World Pharmacist Day 2021
  • Scapegoating foot soldiers
  • The battered body says it all
  • World Alzheimer's Day : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • World Alzheimer's Day 2021 commemorated
  • MaolKeki Scholarship at St Stephen College
  • Condemnation on killing of Athuan Abonmai
  • Sana Leibak Manipur
  • Feelings :: Poem
  • Nominal monetary solace to Covid victims
  • Abducted from under the nose of cops!
  • Guru Leimapokpam Lakpati: Nata Sankritan
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Sep : Govt of Manipur
  • Vanijya Utsav @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Truth should prevail over ethnic politics
  • Projects for Tamenglong & Noney
  • Changes :: Poem
  • Good road must to reap fruit of Act East
  • Rio, Sarma taken on board?
  • Discussion: Merger Agreement 1949 : Gallery
  • Mova Cave, Hunpung, Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Kanglasha Kaba Khanba removal #2: Gallery
  • Thri Kappi Sanaba @Andro #1 : Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai: Olympics #2: Gallery
  • Bongbal Kholen, Kangpokpi #2 : Gallery
  • Laonii Fest of Poumai #2 : Gallery
  • Phuba Khuman, Senapati #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur Olympians reception : Gallery
  • Mary Kom reception- Aug 20: Gallery
  • Hijam Gourashyam : Manipur Sahitya
  • Sushila Likmabam reception- Aug 18: Gallery
  • S Nilakanta / P Sushila [Aug 11] #2 : Gallery
  • S Nilakanta / P Sushila [Aug 11] #1 : Gallery
  • Mirabai felicitated truck drivers: Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai @Imphal #3: Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • HSLC 2021 Result: Statistics Abstract
  • HSLC 2021 Result: 1st Division
  • HSLC 2021 Result: 2nd Division
  • HSLC 2021 Result: 3rd Division
  • HSLC 2021 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2021 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2021 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • Saikhom Mirabai @ Kakching: Gallery
  • Shanglakpam Nilakanta: Olympics #2: Gallery
  • Sushila Pukhrambam :: Olympics : Gallery
  • Saikhom Mirabai : Tokyo Olympics 2020
  • Pukhrambam Sushila : Tokyo Olympics Dream
  • Sushila Likmabam: Olympics Dream: Gallery