Waste Management – SWM Rules, EWM Rules, etc

Microplastic Pollution in Ashtamudi Lake


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Ashtamudi and other lakes in Kerala, Microplastics

Mains level: NA

Why in the News?

  • A recent study conducted by the “Department of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries”, University of Kerala, has revealed alarming levels of microplastic pollution in Ashtamudi Lake, a Ramsar wetland in Kollam district.

Back2Basics: Microplastics

  • Microplastics are small plastic particles that are less than 5 millimetres (0.2 inches) in size.
  • They are a type of plastic pollution that originates from the fragmentation of larger plastic debris, as well as from the direct release of small plastic particles in various products and activities.

Types of Microplastics:

About Ashtamudi Lake

  • Ashtamudi Lake is located in the Kollam district of Kerala.
  • The lake is also called the “gateway to the backwaters of Kerala”.
    • Historical Background: The importance of Ashtamudi Kayal dates back to the times of the Romans and Phoenicians in the 14th century.
  • It is a brackish water lake, meaning it contains a mix of freshwater and saltwater. It covers an area of approximately 61 square kilometres (23.5 square miles).
  • Kallada River is a major river discharging into the Ashtamudi Lake.
  • The name “Ashtamudi” translates to “eight coned” in Malayalam, referring to the lakes eight prominent arms or channels.
  • The lake is surrounded by lush vegetation, including mangrove forests, coconut groves, and palm trees.
  • Ashtamudi Lake is an integral part of the Kollam-Kottapuram Waterway, which connects the Kerala backwaters to the Arabian Sea.
    • Notable Islands: Chavara, Munroe


[2022] Consider the following pairs:

Wetland              : Lake Location

1.    Hokera Wetland  : Punjab

2.   Renuka Wetland  : Himachal Pradesh

3.   Rudrasagar Lake  :  Tripura

4.   Sasthamkotta Lake : Tamil Nadu

How many pairs given above are correctly matched?

(a) Only one pair

(b) Only two pairs

(c) Only three pairs

(d) All four pairs

[2019] Why is there a great concern about the ‘microbeads’ that are released into the environment?

(a) They are considered harmful to marine ecosystems.

(b) They are considered to cause skin cancer in children.

(c) They are small enough to be absorbed by crop plants in irrigated fields.

(d) They are often found to be used as food adulterants.

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