95% of All Ocean Plastic is Delivered by Just 10 Rivers in Asia and Africa
Just 10 enormous rivers – including the Yangtze in China and the Nile in Africa – are responsible for depositing almost all of the plastic that flows into the sea. A truckload of plastic enters the ocean every minute as discarded bottles in the street and microbeads used to roughen personal care products, that have washed down the sink, find their way into the nearest river and travel to the sea.
95% of all rubbish dumped at sea is from Asia and Africa
Most rivers in Asia Rivers all over the world are carrying large amounts of plastic into the sea but a new study has identified that just ten huge rivers – eight of them in Asia and two in Africa – are responsible for transporting as much as 95 per cent of the planet’s total ocean waste. Their enormous plastic footprint is down to them being huge rivers, with huge nearby populations and poor waste collection services, according to the research by the Helmholtz Centre for Enviromental Research in Germany.
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The biggest plastic carrier, China’s Yangtze River, transports as much as 1.5 million tonnes of into the ocean every year. The Thames relatively good This compares to 18 tonnes a year by The Thames – which many would argue is still way too high but considerably less than the world’s worst river offenders. Dr Christian Schmidt, of the Helmholtz Centre, said improving waste management in the river’s catchment areas would go a long way to curbing the plastic pollution problem.
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“In countries such as China and India municipal waste is not all collected and even it is it is often not properly dumped. Improving waste management in these countries should help to reduce the plastic pollution in rivers,”.
Meanwhile, in industrial countries the waste collection rate is practically 100 per cent – but littering, synthetic clothing and household products such as toothpaste means that they are still poring plastic into the sea. “The main source in developed countries is littering. This could be reduced if, for example, people would stop throwing food packaging out of their car windows,” Dr Schmidt said. The study is published in the journal ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology. The researchers analysed dozens of research articles on plastic pollution in waterways.
Yangtze river pollution, China. Reuters
The studies involved 79 sampling sites along 57 rivers around the world. The ten biggest plastic carriers and which seas they feed: Yangtze, River Yellow Sea, Asia Indus, Arabian Sea, Asia Yellow River, Yellow Sea, Asia Hai He, Yellow Sea, Asia Nile, Mediterranean, Africa Meghna, Bay of Bengal, Asia Ganges, South China Sea, Asia Amur, Sea of Okhotsk, Asia Niger, Gulf of Guinea, Africa Mekong, South China Sea, Asia
Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/news/environment/95-ocean-plastic-delivered-just-10-rivers/