Rivers of plastic

Rivers of plastic

Asia is the continent where the largest number of polluted and polluting rivers are located. On the list of the 50 river basins suffering from the worst conditions, 44 are on the Asian continent with the Philippines, India, Malaysia, China and Indonesia contributing about 80% of the spill of plastic into the oceans.

A recent study published by “Science Advances” and carried out by the NGO The Ocean CleanUp argues that in the world a thousand rivers are in severe environmental conditions, and are responsible for 80% of the transport of plastic into the oceans for a total estimated to be between 0.8 and 2.7 million tons per year. On the NGO website you can view and navigate an interactive map that monitors the situation of the rivers in real time.

Researchers say that today the most polluted river in the world is the Pásig in the Philippines, only 25 kilometers long, it runs through the capital Manila. The sad record was previously the Yangtze, or Blue River, which flows in China over 6,418 kilometers.

Another recent discovery highlights the influence of climate on how plastic flows into the oceans. In the hot and tropical areas, the rivers spill plastic into the seas continuously, while in the temperate areas they discharge the largest amount of plastic during a single month, usually August.

Italy ranks third in the ranking of the most polluting countries of the Mediterranean Sea, just after Turkey and Spain. The main means of transportation of the waste that ends up in the Adriatic Sea is the Po, which, with its 652 kilometers, crosses seven heavily industrialized regions.