NGT asks Department. Environment, Pollution Control Board should report on microplastics – The Hindu

The National Green Tribunal asked the Department of Environment (DEP) and Kerala State Pollution Control Board to submit a report about the microplastic contamination of Ashtamudi Lake.

After taking suo motu note of the Hindu article “Microplastics Found in Ashtamudi Lake”, published on 24 May, the Southern Bench of this tribunal issued notices.

The Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries at the University of Kerala conducted the study “Microplastic pollution in Ashtamudi Lake (India): Insights From a Ramsar Wetland” with the support of the Ecomarine Project, co-funded by Erasmus program of the European Union.

The Southern Bench, consisting of Dr. Satyagopal Corlapati and Justice Arun Kumar Tiagi, both judicial members, said that the case had been registered suo motu due to the seriousness of the matter reported in the newspaper.

In addition to the Department of Environment and KSPCB notices were sent to the Director of the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change, District Collector of Kollam, Principal Secretary of the Department of Water Resources, Chairman of the Central Pollution Control Board, and Principal Secretary of the Department of Health. The tribunal ordered the KSPCB, after a thorough analysis of biota and verification of water quality, to submit a report.

Microplastics were found in fish, shellfish and sediment of the brackish water lake, as well as in its water. Fish and shellfish accounted for the highest percentage of microplastics in the macrofauna.

Microplastic fibers made up 35.6% in the samples collected. The list was followed closely by films (28%) and fragments (33.3%). The samples were analyzed in detail to reveal the presence of hazardous heavy metals and plastic polymers. The microplastics in fish and shellfish guts were composed of nylon, polyurethane polypropylene polyethylene and polysiloxane.