Sri Lanka faces an unprecedented pollution crisis as waves of plastic waste from a burning container ship hit the coast and threaten to devastate the local environment, a top environment official warned Saturday.
Thousands of navy ratings using mechanical diggers scooped tonnes of tiny plastic granules on the beaches that had come from the Singapore-registered MV X-Press Pearl that has been smouldering on the horizon for ten days.
Sri Lanka’s Marine Protection Authority (MEPA) said the microplastic pollution could cause years of ecological damage to the Indian Ocean island. “This is probably the worst beach pollution in our history,” MEPA chairman Dharshani Lahandapura said.
The tiny polyethylene pellets threaten tourism beaches and fish-breeding in shallow waters. Fishing has been banned along an 80-kilometre (50-mile) stretch of coast near the ship that has been burning for 10 days despite an international firefighting operation. “There is smoke and intermittent flames seen from the ship,” navy spokesman Captain Indika de Silva told AFP
News Source : News18