Maharashtra tops in plastic waste on beaches; food chain under threat

Justifying its state-wide ban on plastic in the Bombay high court recently, the Maharashtra government cited plastic found in the stomach of a dead whale that was washed ashore in Mumbai. “The recent death of a whale near the seashore of Mumbai coast was due to plastic which is confirmed during the autopsy,” said the government’s affidavit to the high court. Similarly, when a postmortem was conducted on a 10-metre-long sperm whale that washed up on Spain’s coast in February, 29 kg of plastic was found in its stomach. The whale had died because of the plastic it had ingested.
From flotsam in the Arabian sea to microplastics in the guts of fishes, the menace of marine debris is widespread and has begun impacting livelihood of coastal communities.