The problem of plastic pollution poses environmental, social, economic, and health risks to people by contributing to the climate crisis, ecosystem degradation and resource use.
Climate change is real. If steps are not taken now to protect nature, rivers, lakes and localities in future could possibly be buried under the burden of various wastes added to the environment.
Given various studies, it is almost an inevitable conclusion that glacier melt is set to accelerate in the Himalayas as a result of climate change in times ahead. It has severe consequences for the livelihood of those populations living downstream.
As rightly observed by officials, it is the collective responsibility of one and all to include rivers, forests, grasslands, wetlands and all other living species in the future development plans. It is the greatest duty to maintain the delicate balance of the environment.
The balance between nature and development is important. Global warming will destroy civilization and all the modern facilities created for mankind.
There is a need for taking small steps which can prevent irreversible damage from climate change. Among others, the threat of plastic waste remains enormous. Around 300 million tons of plastic waste is being collected all over the world every year and as per 2019 report of the Central Pollution Control Board, 34,367 tonnes of plastic waste is collected every year in Jammu Kashmir and a sizeable portion is single-use polythene.
As per researches, air temperatures will continue to increase and precipitation will become unpredictable. The consequences of glacier melt are enormous, and one can only make assumptions about the disastrous it will bring about to the region.
There is a need to mitigate the impact of climate change and subsequent glacier melt on the lives of the people of the region including Jammu and Kashmir. There is no alternative and for the people to adapt to climate change and its ramifications. The governments—centre and the local— must start planning now about the measures needed and not wait for the natural hazard to take place. There is also a need to improve forest cover and other means to absorb the carbon dioxide emissions which leads to increase in the temperatures. The consequences of failures are grave and as such all measures should be taken to save lives. Pivotally, there is a need to control the use of single-use plastic. Government says that reduce, reuse, recycle, remove, refuse, and report for bringing better environmental sustainability is good and needs to be ensured.