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Ganga river highly contaminated with plastic, microplastic, finds study

The reason behind the Ganga pollution is the dumping of plastic items and waste into the river, which over time turns into small pieces.

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Amidst all the claims of making Ganga clean and clean, a Delhi-based NGO Toxics Link has found that the river Ganga has rapidly degraded due to human activities. In the study, the presence of microplastics was studied along the banks of river Ganga. The microplastics have been found in all the samples of the river in Haridwar, Kanpur and Varanasi.

The water of the river Ganga has become polluted with many types of plastic, including single-use plastic and products made from plastic. The river was found to be the most polluted in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi. Here, untreated sewage, industrial waste from many cities on the banks of the river was found in plastic bags. All these things are increasing the filth in the river. The cities through which the river Ganga flows are densely populated and the waste from those cities is getting in the river in huge quantities.

The report says that the 88 ghats in Varanasi also represent the spiritual city under the threat of acute pollution of the holy river. The river in Varanasi is at risk of endangering levels of pollution. The major factors for this pollution are not just sewage, or a large number of cremations every day but also the huge microplastic pollution, which is generally unnoticed or lesser-known due to the lack of studies and public awareness, the report says.

The reason behind the Ganga pollution is the dumping of plastic items and waste into the river, which over time turns into small pieces and the river eventually takes this waste into the sea in large numbers. This chain is the last stop for the plastic being used by humans.

According to Preeti Mahesh, Chief Coordinator, Toxics Link, all types of microplastics are definitely flowing in the river and this shows the poor condition of both solid and liquid waste management. It is necessary to take steps to fix it.

Five samples of water from the river at Haridwar, Kanpur and Varanasi were sent to the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa for examination by Toxics Link. Investigation revealed that 40 different types of polymers of microplastics are present in the water of river Ganga. Resins such as EVOH, polyacetylene, PIP, PVC and PVL were found in abundance at all three sites.

In comparison to Kanpur and Haridwar, Varanasi has the highest number of microplastics found in the Ganga river. Plastic pollution in the river Ganga can have serious effects because, the water of the river is used for many purposes, which will have a direct impact on the environment as well as people. Plastic contains many additives and chemicals which are toxic substances and can also be found in water and can enter the body, especially through microplastic filters.

It is clear from the microplastics found in the Ganga river that plastic waste management rules are in force in the country, but they are not being implemented properly. There is a need to ban single-use plastic.

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