Waste plastic that’s dumped in rivers
Across the world end up in our oceans every day, becoming one of the major sources of marine pollution.
A recent study now claims that Asian countries are the biggest culprits when it comes to polluting our waterways.
Every year, millions of tonnes of plastics are produced and trashed, with some ending up in the sea, and gobbled up by tiny fish.
Even though countries don’t report on how much plastic they are flushing,
a recent study suggests that around 86% of the plastic running through rivers was coming from a single continent—Asia.
An estimated 1.15 to 2.41 million tonnes (1.27 to 2.66 million metric tons) of plastic waste enters rivers every year,
around one fifth of the total plastic in the sea from coastal populations worldwide,
according to a study published in Nature on June 7, (Other plastic ends up in landfills which can also leak into the oceans.)
The researchers from Ocean Cleanup, a Netherland-based foundation working to extract plastic from the sea,
found that a majority of the inputs are from Asian countries like China, Indonesia, and Myanmar.
12 Most Polluted Rivers In The World
Rivers are a critical part of our ecosystem; they not only provide drinking water to billions of people,
but are also homes to our precious wildlife.
However, pollution at global scale, such as the release of industrial, urban and agricultural wastes,
has substantially harmed the river ecosystem and threatened the access to clean drinking water.
Furthermore, polluted rivers flowing into the ocean can create even far-reaching impacts.
Source: Sea Smart
River pollution refers to the contamination of a river or other body of water with harmful substances such as chemicals,
plastics, sewage, agricultural and industrial waste, and other pollutants.
This pollution can have serious negative effects on both human health and the natural environment.
The sources of river pollution are varied and can include:
- Agricultural runoff: Pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals used in agriculture can be carried by rainwater
and runoff into nearby rivers and streams.
- Industrial waste: Industrial facilities often discharge toxic chemicals and waste into rivers, causing serious pollution.
- Sewage: Sewage treatment plants are designed to remove harmful pollutants from wastewater, but they can sometimes fail,
leading to contamination of nearby rivers.
- Plastic waste: Plastic waste, especially single-use plastic items like bags and bottles, is a major contributor to river pollution.
- These items do not biodegrade and can remain in the environment for hundreds of years.
- Oil spills: Accidental spills of oil from ships or offshore drilling platforms can have devastating effects on river ecosystems.
To prevent and reduce river pollution, there are several steps that individuals and communities can take,
such as reducing plastic usage, properly disposing of hazardous waste, and advocating for stronger environmental regulations.
Bjørn Larsen Editor/ Artist