Study using geo-tagged bottles unravels plastic pollution
News this week
9 Dec 2020
Plastic pollution by a river (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

Plastic pollution can travel thousands of kilometres in just a few months, finds new study using geo-tagged bottles

As per a new study, researchers used GPS technology to follow plastic bottles through the Ganga river system into the Bay of Bengal. The team found that the bottle that travelled the longest distance moved across 2,845 kilometres in 94 days. The researchers created a new system that used GPS tracking devices placed in 500 mL plastic bottles. The so-called “bottle tags” were designed to mimic plastic beverage bottles traveling through natural environments. The study will significantly improve our understanding of plastic litter movement through rivers and into oceans and provide new insights into where plastic litter is most likely to accumulate. (

Gram Sabha passes resolution to declare heritage lake a wetland

A unanimous resolution to declare a 6.16-hectare (ha) heritage lake as a wetland has been passed by the Gram Sabha of the Jamsar Hamlet in Palghar’s Jawhar taluka, located around 134 km from Mumbai. According to a member of the Centre’s National Wetland Committee (NWC), this is the first in India where a governing body of a village has expressed its interest to declare a natural site a wetland. The villagers, who have been working from one year on the declaration of the lake, believe that there is a need to create a conservation model for the lake which is at least 600-700 years old. The state government has provided assurance to initiate the necessary proceedings in this regard. (Hindustan Times)

Chennai authorities to make use of the uprooted trees in Cyclone Nivar

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has tied up with a private company to convert the logs close to 400 tonnes of fallen trees collected from different parts of the city into useful products for industrial purposes. Earlier, the trees were removed and stored in dump yards and later sold, by following a tendering process. The shells of tender coconuts will be converted into coir and pith blocks and the wood converted into briquettes. Coir and pith blocks will be used for agriculture purposes, while briquettes will be used as bio-fuel for boilers (The Hindu)

Bihar plans a festival to raise awareness about migratory birds

As part of its initiative to save migratory birds that arrive in the state in large numbers every year, the Bihar government, for the first time, is holding a bird festival. The festival is being jointly organised by the Bhagalpur forest division, non-profit Bombay Natural History Society and the local Mandar Nature Club. With an aim to enhance people’s participation for conserving migratory birds, the programmes will prompt common people to take care of birds and preserve them in the interests of society and environment. (Down to Earth)

In 20 years, 50,000 hectares of land in Uttarakhand deforested

From March 2000 to November 2020, the state has witnessed a loss of over 50,000 hectares of forest cover to commercial activities. With the loss of 8,760 hectares of land, mining activities have caused highest deforestation in the state, followed by road construction, power distribution lines and hydropower plant projects. The district-wise data shows that Dehradun has experienced the highest amount of loss of 21,303 ha, followed by Haridwar, Chamoli, Tehri and Pithoragarh. (The Times of India)

This is a roundup of important news published between December 1 - 9, 2020. Also, read policy matters this week.

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