Terrorism, rising poverty, failure to curb pollution, propulsion of traffic and, increasing dependence of hydrocarbons aren’t the only global concerns at this point in time. An increasing source of woeful problems everywhere is plastic. Rather, put it, an increasing culture of plastic consumption.
This is a phenomenon that has been existing for the longest time now. We see plastic polyethene bags being used everywhere-whether in homes, groceries, eateries, food joints, airports, shopping arcades and elsewhere- plastic straws and plastic mugs, cups in restaurants and pubs all around the world.
And it seems, despite the growing clamour against plastic consumption- there being no dearth of environmentally-conscious bodies working time and again to put a stoppage on plastic- we may not see a drastic change anytime soon.
That told, the most shocking piece of evidence about the proliferation of plastic waste comes from a singular source that you may not even believe. From a global perspective, the biggest news regarding the greatest man-made anomaly of all times shares that around 90 per cent of the world’s plastic waste comes from just 10 rivers in Asia and Africa.
Who would’ve thought about something like that, it ought to be asked?
A study doing rounds of international media suggests that just 10 rivers based in Asia and Africa are contributing to a massive 90 per cent of the global epidemic; an epidemic that is putting the world at a precarious situation.
That told, here is a comprehensive list of all major ‘miscreant’ rivers, that are in Asia as well as Africa responsible for the creation of this mess.
The river-systems that carry the most significant amount of pollutants into the oceans include- Amur, The Ganges, Indus, Mekong, Pearl, Yangtze, Yellow River delta. While these comprise the Asian continent, here’s the most polluting lot from Africa. The Niger and Nile in Africa are included in a rather dubious list.
If you are wondering about the source and validity of the above information, then that’s all taken care of. Since the exhaustive research has been conducted by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, a revered research institute devoted to undertaking exclusive, first-hand, data-driven researches (based in Germany) there can hardly be a question about the authenticity and integrity of the findings.
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, in addition to carrying the said research, has suggested that the most effective way to curb the growing menace of oceanic pollution is to address the original sources from where pollution specifically emanates. This, therefore means, the polluting river bodies and, waterways such as the ones listed above.
Here’s the most abhorrent and shocking bit of information from the above list of polluting rivers and water bodies. The worst polluter of the lot- is the Yangtze river based in China. According to the said research paper, a whopping 1.5 million tonnes of plastic is contributed globally into the Yellow Sea, constantly. Imagine the exacerbation of the entire problem; where does this stop, if at all, the mammoth constraint can be stopped in the first place?
A leading force behind submitting arguably a pathbreaking find with regards to the growing plastic pollution is Mr Christian Schmid. And upon the publishing of the paper, he shared the following:
“Halving the plastic input from the catchment areas of these rivers would be a major success,’ in the words of the lead author of the study. He would further add, ‘To achieve this, it will be necessary to improve waste management and raise public awareness of the issue.’
But apart from these conscientious (suggested) measures, what needs to happen in a greater collective force is for the world to come hard against stopping the plastic menace. An odd person here and there adapting to using paper bags may obviously not lead to a watershed moment when compared to the difference that can be sought through hundreds of thousands coming together to cut down on plastic drastically.
At the same time, some research is also being conducted in New South Wales in Australia. The same has suggested that about two per cent of the landfill is currently represented by plastic bags. If that alone doesn’t serve as a standing reminder of the great malady of our times, then one wonders, what might suffice?