India's Oceanic Pollution is Catching Up with its Citizens

India's pollution footprint is 8-10 tons annually. This is equivalent to dumping a truck of garbage into the ocean every minute. India is also the twelfth-largest source of marine litter and is projected to be the fifth-largest by 2025. In a country of 1.2 billion people, many heavily rely on natural resources such as fishing and farming to survive. However, individuals will learn quickly that their bottles and cans will matter much more to the quality of their necessities.

In India, the number of plastics found washed up on the shores of local beaches is increasing by the day. On a remote island off the Indian Ocean, 238 tons of plastics were uncovered alone. These plastics are increasing temperatures, releasing deadly toxins, and worsening the already deadly monsoon season, which lasts through the summer months.

With the current conditions in India, many of the natural resources that citizens rely on will soon be dead. The toxins and plastics that are brought into these oceans can become entangled with critical marine life. These can strangle, starve, and drown various marine mammals. Many can also ingest or breathe chemicals that can poison and ultimately kill them. The aquatic creatures, such as prawns, mackerel, and cod, which are heavily used in Indian cooking, are also being killed by the various plastics thrown into the oceans and rivers by citizens.

Not only that, but the vast Indian Ocean, which has thus far been able to withstand the growing air pollution of India and absorbs much of the heat, is slowly weakening as well. Between 1901 and 2018, India has grown in temperature by 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit according to India's Ministry of Earth Sciences. Scientists worry that this could continue with the warming of the Indian Ocean as well, which is now warmer than both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.

These increased temperatures will create an even heavier monsoon season in India as well. The monsoon, a period of intense rain showers between June and September, damages farming land and crops, floods cities, and damages structures. Climate heating will increase the speed of these monsoons, and make them larger and much more volatile.

In turn, environmental heating will also increase drought and arid temperatures in India's summer and spring months, the already extremely hot months in this sub-continent.

India only has a limited amount of time to combat these issues that both its economy and climate will face if its ongoing pollution crisis continues in the direction that it is

traveling in. To face this crisis, its citizens will need to learn where and what items can be recycled. Throwing away plastics and recycling cans can single-handedly slow down the speed of climate change if done consistently. Scheduling beach cleanups and safely disposing of toxic products can help save the marine life who so badly need their home and environments to be saved in India.


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