From the desk of the Editor
The theme of the previous edition of this Journal was 'Auditing Climate Change: Carbon Emission and Carbon Finance’. The tremendous response we received from our readers attests to the topical nature of the subject and growing appreciation that we as auditors of governmental action have a significant role to play in ensuring that the munificent bounties of our planet are preserved for posterity as well. Continuing with the general theme of environmental auditing, we have chosen another significant topic viz., plastic waste, for this edition of the journal.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the menace of plastic pollution has reached alarming proportions in recent years. It has been reported that, of the 6.3 billion or so tonnes of plastic waste produced since the 1950s, only 9% has been recycled and another 12% incinerated. The rest has been dumped in landfills or the natural environment.1
Owing to its non-biodegradable property, plastic persists on the surface of the earth for years together, choking plant and animal life, clogging drains and causing all manner of havoc. To add to the problem, micro-plastic pollution has emerged as a new source of concern that calls for urgent and well considered action from Governments all over the world. Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic waste and plastic fibres whose impact on natural life and environment is yet to be fully comprehended. Due to natural weathering and chemical degradation all plastic waste can degrade into microplastics particles. These particles can spread fast and have even been detected in remote corners of the world thousands of kilometres away from their source. These are small enough to be ingested and incorporated into the bodies of living organisms including humans. Microplastics have even been detected in human blood.