Blanket of Trash Over the Caribbean Sea Sets Alarm Bells Ringing

Published date:22 Nov 2017

The most blissful experience one can ever experience is probably at places that are untouched by humans. Caroline Power, an expert photographer, set out to witness the spectacular beauty of the Caribbean Sea, expecting to be soothed by the calmness of the sea and the music of the waves. To her shock, she was welcomed by an island of floating trash that seemed to have claimed its dominance over the surface of the sea. Disposable cutlery, industrial waste, Styrofoam, and every other form of garbage was seen bobbing in the sea. The shocking images that have emerged on the internet have once again garnered a lot of attention from environmentalists and individuals, across the globe. 

The series of photos highlights the increasing use of single-time use containers, plastic bags, and bottles that have begun to gradually choke the life at sea. More than 700 islands and their flora and fauna thrive on the Caribbean Sea. Ocean Conservancy projected that by 2025, the situation may worsen and lead to the presence of almost one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in the oceans. The thick blanket of trash on the oceans obstruct the passage of sunlight, thus leading to the destruction of the lives of thousands of sea creatures. There have been reports of fish choking on polythene bags and plastic items strewn in the water. The only solution to this threatening development is the implementation of strict global actions. 

Waste and garbage are inevitable byproducts of the society. Industrialization has brought about its share of boons and banes. The rapid growth of the global market, the rise in disposable incomes of the working-class population in developing, as well as developed countries, has resulted in improved economies and widespread urbanization. However, it has raised a global problem of waste management. The growing concerns about the disposal of waste products, treatment of industrial waste, and handling the effluents released in water bodies, have fueled the need for efficient wastewater treatment equipment. The report titled “Wastewater Treatment Equipment Market- Opportunity and Forecast, 2016–2025”, attributes the robust growth of the wastewater treatment equipment industry to the emerging trend of water recycling and reuse, along with the expansion of end-user industries. Several initiatives are taken by the government, to implement stringent regulations regarding industrial water discharge and to spread awareness about the devastating and shocking condition of the water bodies and the lives that thrive on it.

One of the primary steps that need to be taken to bring the situation under control is the release of untreated industrial waste and harmful effluents in the water bodies. To treat the wastewater, equipment are developed based on the requirement and the type of application. Municipal applications include individual consumption and drinking water, whereas food & beverages, mining, oil & gas, electronics, power generation, and pharmaceuticals are covered under industrial applications. The leading players in the wastewater treatment industry include Danaher Corporation, Ashland Water Technologies, Kemira OYJ, Aquatech International Corporation, Degremont SAS, GDF SUEZ S.A., The Dow Chemical Company, and GE Water & Process Technologies.