Assessment of Plastic Pollution in Rivers of Punjab

IJEP 43(10): 953-960 : Vol. 43 Issue. 10 (October 2023)

Prabha, Lipsa Dehal, Sonalpreet Kaur and Archana Saini*

Kanya Maha Vidyalaya, P.G. Department of Zoology, Jalandhar – 144 001, Punjab, India


Plastic pollution has become an emerging issue of concern and a major global environmental problem. It has numerous adverse effects on food chain as well as ecology which in turn affect biodiversity and human health. Plastic in water bodies endangers aquatic species and also causes economic damage. Earlier research was done on oceans, nowadays focus is on the freshwater ecosystems. The aim of this study is to estimate size, type and distribution of plastic in river Sutlej and river Beas. Macroplastics mainly recorded in the study are bags (high and low density polythene), food wrappers (mainly of propylene and polystyrene), bottles (polyethylene tetraphthalate) and disposable food containers (expanded polystyrene). Plastics are found on shoreline sediments of rivers. Microplastics and mesoplastics are of diverse resins. Comparison of this data with other marine and freshwater studies indicated similar relevance of plastic pollution and shows that plastic pollution is a serious problem in Sutlej and Beas river. The pollution changes water quality index including parameters, like pH, conductivity, chlorides, nitrates, ammonia and fecal coliforms. Microplastic transfers through filter feeding in food chain and these small particles translocate across the intestinal barrier, reaching the blood and rest of the body. Through fish, microplastics enter the human body and lead to many metabolic disorders. This study is also valuable from a social or educational point of view.


Plastic pollution, Mesoplastics, Microplastics, River Beas, River Sutlej


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