“IMPROPER DISPOSAL OF WASTE”

A debonair teenager Ali, a student of University and an active speaker on current issues of the country, wearing a brown and white sweater and spectacles. He went out to university early in the morning. After attending lectures, he went to café. The cafe was full of disposable waste on the floor despite the fact this throwing of garbage everywhere is a major source of land pollution, flood, and diseases of which we the erudite are the primary source. He sat on a chair along with red table in front of him. Reading the newspaper looking worried about the situation of our beloved developed country Pakistan, ordered Fanta and channa chaat. After finishing his meal, he threw can on the floor by following footsteps of his other mates. Our educated audience who call themselves sophisticated but he turned a blind eye towards the environment.

Blanket of Smog in Lahore

Nowadays, smog is considered as “fifth season” of Pakistan. Once again its the time of the year when Lahore gets covered with irritating smog. Smog depicts a haze of thick layer of smog covering the sky, blocking out the sun, obstructing the view and making everything vague.

One can find hinderance while driving or walking on the road and we hear reports of citizens complaining about the ailments from this sudden rise in the concentration of pollutants in the air. Residents of Punjab University have been facing problems with the weather for the past fortnight, dense and poisonous smog has created health problems and limiting their mobility.

Numerous road accidents took place due to smog in the last couple of days and extreme precaution is being recommended while traveling in the current weather.

But the question arises what is causing this foul smog to emerge at this time of the year? Because of so many grounds and open areas in Punjab University, it is so dense here.Students, bus drivers, and teachers experienced a sudden elevated rise in air pollutants which is a combination of urban air pollution, calm wind in the winter months and penetration of polluted air from India causing visibly dense smog.

An ever-increasing rise in industrial development in Lahore combine with unrestricted deforestation and vehicular emissions are commonly blamed for the being the real culprits besides crop fires and coal plant emissions burning in India.

Plastic Pollution

 

Beaches in Pakistan, especially Clifton, are littered with plastic pollution contributing to around 50 percent of the total garbage found on the beach. This non degradable pollutant is seriously affecting marine life along coastal and offshore waters, maintained a World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan’s  study on marine pollution in the country.

According to WWF Pakistan solid garbage from cities and towns along the coastline makes its way to the ocean. An estimated 14 billion pounds of trash, much of it plastic is dumped in the world’s oceans every year.Plastic bags, bottles, toys, packaging material, if not disposed of correctly, can reach the sea.Plastic waste, which decomposes very slowly, therefore, remain either floating in the open sea or piled up on the beaches Fishermen also contribute in this pollution by dumping an estimated 150,000 tons of plastic into the ocean each year, including packaging, plastic nets, lines, and buoys. According to another estimate about 8,000 tons of solid waste mainly consisting of plastic is unaccounted for in Karachi; most of it ending up in the sea around Karachi. 

It has been reported that globally one out of three marine mammals have been found entangled in plastic litter. Similarly, researches indicate that around 90 percent of sea birds digest plastic.

Fish and other animals are also not spared as they consume micro-plastic or become entangled in plastic debris, the study maintains.

Uncontrolled dumping of plastic products in the terrestrial and marine environment has become a serious threat to animals and plants inhabiting coastal and offshore waters of Pakistan.

According to one estimate, around 6.4 million metric tons of trash, mostly plastic, is dumped in the world’s oceans every year. If plastic bags, bottles, toys and packaging material are not disposed of properly, they reach the sea and damage coastal ecosystems.

Plastic pollution come from flotsam and jetsam generated from ships including fishing vessels operating in the sea. Floating plastic is mistaken for food items my marine animals who become engulfed in it, in most cases, with serious and deadly consequences.

There is need to place stress upon the need for controlling dumping of solid waste especially plastic in the sea, as most of these materials degrade very slowly taking in most cases centuries. There is, therefore, need to control disposal of solid waste which may be taken to the community dump site by the municipal organization. ‘There is also a need to undertake regular cleaning operations of the beaches to remove accumulated plastic. 

Ocean Pollution: Effects on Sea life

Whales and dolphins live in a world of water and sound. They feed, communicate and find their way around their world using sound. If you pump oil or chemicals into that world, or high levels of unnatural noise, then they will suffer. Chemical spills, seismic noise used to find oil and gas, conducting loud military exercises at sea and increases in boat traffic can all put whales and dolphins in danger, cause them to strand on coastlines, and even kill them. Amazingly, there are currently no accepted international standards regarding noise pollution in our seas. We don’t know what damage all these activities are doing to whales and dolphins so we have to act now to find out before it is too late.

Oil and chemical spills, sewage and other man made marine pollution and debris can have terrible effects on whales and dolphins and the places where they live, eat and breed.  But whales and dolphins also live in a world of sound. They communicate, find their way around and locate food using sound, it is their key to survival.

Loud underwater seismic searches or surveys (pulses of noise sent down to the seabed) to locate oil and gas, military exercises using powerful underwater sonar, and increasing levels of boat activity all create an ocean full of noise and the levels are increasing.

For whales and dolphins, ‘listening’ is as important as ‘seeing’ is for humans. Noise pollution threatens whale and dolphin populations, interrupting their normal behaviour, driving them away from areas important to their survival, and at worst injuring or sometimes even causing the deaths of some whales and dolphins.

There are currently no accepted international standards regarding noise pollution in our seas. Because we don’t really know what long term damage pollution in all these forms is doing to whales and dolphins