Recently, a dead sperm whale washed up on a beach in Spain. Investigation into the possible causes of death revealed that it had ingested nearly 64 pounds of Plastic that damaged its internal organs leading to its death. The whale belongs to an endangered species and this tragedy has highlighted the need to end the era of plastic. It is a non-biodegradable product and will remain as litter in the Environment for ages.

New Republic reports that people have realized the need to check such pollution in order to save marine life. There are many agencies who have taken up the issue in earnest but most of them are working in isolation.

It is necessary that they join forces, treat this pollution as a common issue and formulate some sort of accord similar to the Paris climate accord.

Magnitude of the problem

The ultimate resting place for plastic waste is the ocean and marine lives are at stake. They get killed after mistaking these as edible substances or getting entangled in the waste material. Studies have established that a majority of seabirds have plastic in their bellies. Over a period of time, the waste breaks down into microplastic and enters the human food chain leading to health problems. Other ill effects of the presence of plastic in the oceans are the destruction of coral reefs and disturbance to biodiversity and ecosystems.

The amount of the waste in the oceans is mindboggling and it is not good for the environment.

More action is required

The menace of plastic pollution is a new development in our lives. After the dead sperm whale washed up in Spain, local authorities launched an awareness program and a cleanup campaign to clear the litter strewn across the beaches.

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Activities of this nature should be a regular feature on all beaches alongside policing.

The country of origin for the waste that ends up in the ocean cannot be identified, hence blame or responsibility cannot be assigned. As a part of preventive measures, some countries want to impose a ban on plastic straws and plastic grocery bags, while still others want to introduce a deposit-return scheme for cold drink bottles.

These must be combined and a global initiative must be taken to evolve an international policy. Everyone must be tuned to the same frequency. The ultimate goal should be to preserve the environment and ensure the safety of marine lives. It is a serious matter similar to climate change because the success of such drives will determine the health of the Earth.