Karachi's Citizens revive the Arabian Sea #BeatPlasticPollution #StepUpClimateAction

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The fisheries sector of Pakistan has been facing serious challenges in terms of decreased catch and increased bycatch since last 2 decades due to increased number of vessels being operated in open waters. Along with the commercial challenges, marine habitats are also suffering from pollution. From discarded ghost nets to untreated sewage water, beaches and oceanic habitats of Pakistani Coastlines are facing serious pollution crisis.

One of the main contributors to marine pollution globally is Plastic and the case is not different for Pakistan either. According to studies conducted by WWF-Pakistan, it is estimated that 65% of garbage that litters the beaches of Pakistan consists of plastics generated through anthropogenic activities as it includes mineral water bottles, caps, polyethylene bags, balloons, wrappers, shoes, broken utensils, Styrofoam and discarded fishing nets.

To overcome this problem, Pakistan needs to adapt and implement such steps that are being suggested by various nations globally to combat plastic pollution of marine ecosystems. These small steps may seem to be small but have a huge impact in a long run.

  • Promote the use of biodegradable bags as well as cloth bags instead of using polyethylene bags. A Pakistani supermarket – Habib Metro and Hyperstar Pakistan etc – are doing a great job by introducing such shopping bags that are biodegradable by bacteria even if dumped in sea
  • Promote the use of steel and washable straws in local cafes instead of using plastic . These are locally available in Metro supermarket easily.
  • Ban the use of Styrofoam plates in canteens of institutes all across Pakistan. 
  • Support organizations and projects such as the ’Olive Ridley Project’ that are working in Pakistan to eliminate ghost nets from the marine environments
  • Promote the management of household waste so that recycling of products such as wrappers, cans, paper, glass and wet waste which includes vegetable and fruit skins along with tea may also be sent to fertilizer industry instead of being dumped in landfills and burnt. Bangladesh has been using such technique in its refugee shelters and has sorted trash into 13 different categories.
  • Establish such factories that produce biodegradable napkins, tissue papers, diapers and sanitary napkins and diapers because in their present condition, a single item aforementioned may take roughly between 2 to 3 centuries to decompose.

The Government of Pakistan has always contributed to cleaner environments. In this year’s budget the Government has allotted Rs. 802 million to combat climate change. Along with this the success story of declaring Astola Island and Indus River Canyon as first two marine protected areas of Pakistan says a lot of what our Government is doing and what it is capable of. It is therefore suggested that if the Government passes a law to ban the use of plastic and offer alternate solutions as suggested above. These small steps will,not only benefit fisheries to flourish and will eventually generate revenue but will also provide livelihood to people who are working in plastic industries,

Let's join hands to address this problem!

We should, as responsible citizens try to minimize our use of plastic by using alternatives. By doing this we hope that landfills are not some heaps of non degradable discarded items but instead; environment friendly material which does not harm us in the long run. Remember, Oceans generate the Oxygen we breath! Regulates Climate Change and Cleans the Water we drink!

#StepUpClimateAction #BeatPlasticPollution #WorldEnvironmentDay #IYOR2018 #WorldOceansDay


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