An all-women scientists team is set to gauge how plastic is polluting India’s major river — the Ganga. This is the first expedition of its kind. The river Ganga is the most sacred river in India, but sadly, it is also the most polluted as sewers to libations, enough pollutants have collectively contributed to polluting one of the longest rivers in India. But plastic still remains the major pollutant in our holy river, which also counts as one of the most polluted waterways in the world.

Key Takeaways:

  • Though the Ganga is worshipped by around one billion Hindus and works as a source of water for around 400 million people, today it stands as one of the most polluted waterways in the world. 
  • The all-women team of explorers, scientists and engineers aims to study the Ganga right from where it originates, the Himalayas, to where it empties, the Bay of Bengal. 
  • Sadly, river Ganga is one of the 10 rivers in the world that are responsible for plastic that ends up in oceans.
  • The team consists of 18 researchers from organisations including the Wildlife Institute of India, University of Dhaka and Zoological Society of London.

Read More: March Of Young Waste Warriors

150 Million Metric Tons Plastic Circulating In Oceans

“We have made plastics an inseparable part of our lives. We are addicted to it. All plastics are harmful. We justify their use based on various virtues like convenience, water resistance, weight, etc.” says Dharmesh Shah, GAIA.

The all-women team is set to start its expedition from October. It will retrace the river’s path that is from Himalayas (where the Ganga originates) to the Bay of Bengal (where it empties), by road, boat, and train.

According to the Ocean Conservancy Organization, eight million metric tons of plastic is disposed of in the oceans every year, which has resulted in around 150 million metric tons of plastic currently circulating in oceans. Not only this, but the plastic pollution is also increasing at an alarming rate with plastic production set to double in the next 10 years.

An Attempt To Study Entry Of Plastic In Water Bodies

The expedition is a proper adventure: the Ganga is so wide at times that one can’t see the other side – it’s like being in the ocean – the team will travel all the way up through Bangladesh into India to the [Gangotri] glacier, the source of the river where the ice melts, which is retreating several meters every year due to global warming. The all-women team is set to start its expedition from October. It will retrace the river’s path that is from Himalayas (where the Ganga originates) to the Bay of Bengal (where it empties), by road, boat, and train.

The all-women team is set to start its expedition from October. It will retrace the river’s path that is from Himalayas (where the Ganga originates) to the Bay of Bengal (where it empties), by road, boat, and train.

The team has also started tracking a litter they found, by using a drone pilot to trace how plastic gets into the river. They’ve also placed a tracking device in a plastic bottle, similar to the one placed on sharks. The bottle was then left to drift in the Ganga to measure how far downside it can go in the river.

Picture Credit:  India Today

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