Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

40 tonnes of plastic waste removed from the ocean

Environmentalists removed more than 40 tonnes of plastic waste from the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California, says a CNN news report.

The environmental protection organisation Ocean Voyages Institute has collected the waste from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They emphasised that this has been “the largest and most successful ocean cleanup to date” in the region.

To make the amount easier to imagine, the report stated that

40 tonnes of plastic is equivalent in weight to about 24 cars or 6 or 7 grown elephants.

The expedition lasted 25 days. The group used satellite and drone technology. They primarily collected plastic bottles, furniture and toys from the water. They also found abandoned fishing nets: one of the so-called ghost nets weighed 5 tonnes, the other 8 tonnes.

The plastic ghost nets collect massive quantities of plastic waste. Mary Crowley, the founder of Ocean Voyages Institute emphasised that while removing the monster ghost nets from the ocean is very important, smaller ones can also cause great damage, because whales and dolphins get tangled in them and perish.

1.5 tonnes of the plastic waste collected was given to the University of Hawaii graduate art program and individual artists in Hawaii, who will transform them into sculptures and other works of art. The remaining waste will be processed and used to generate energy.

Crowley noted that relative to the magnitude of the problem, this has only been a small step, but it still saved a lot of fish, dolphins and whales. She added that her group is also planning a longer, three-month cleanup effort, and they hope that other organisations will follow suit.

1.5 tonnes of the plastic waste collected was given to the University of Hawaii graduate art program and individual artists in Hawaii Photo: Facebook/Ocean Voyages Institute
Further information: CNN

Hungarian water treatment plant in Vietnam

It was announced in 2010 that the Vietnamese government would like to build a water treatment plant in Central Vietnam. Hungary is famous for its water treatment technology so they decided on a Hungarian partner.

The Biopolus BioMakery in the Netherlands

The Trappist monks of Koningshoeven Abbey have been brewing beer since 1881, and in recent years, they have also been baking bread and making chocolate, honey and cheese. The water to be treated is the wastewater from these brewing and manufacturing activities, together with the municipal wastewater from the Abbey and the visiting centre.

Over two tonnes of golf balls collected from Monterey Bay

Specialists believe almost 30 kilograms of microplastics has eroded from such a quantity of golf balls into the water.

Algal blooms grow more severe in the great lakes of the world

Over the last three decades, summer algal blooms in all large fresh-water lakes around the world have grown more severe – this is the conclusion of a global study, the longest ever of its kind, conducted by researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science and NASA. 

The Pacific cleanup may succeed

The system created by a Dutch inventor called System 101, whose first trial run, conducted a year ago, had failed, has started collecting plastic waste on the Pacific again.

Hungarian innovation to filter pharmaceutical residues

Many studies worldwide have shown that the active compounds of medications are released into the environment with wastewater and can easily be reintroduced into the human food chain from there. Filtering these residues out is an increasingly acute concern, but, thankfully, the world of science has already responded to the problem.

Garbage from Asia has inundated an island in the middle of the Atlantic

Researchers from Canada and Africa have found a massive amount of plastic bottles, originating form Asia, mainly from China, on Inaccessible Island, located in the South Atlantic Ocean. The bottles were probably discarded into the water and then washed up on the island from cargo ships passing the region.

Pharmaceutical residues in Hungarian waters

In Hungary, too, the active ingredients of various medications are discharged continuously into the environment with wastewater, so they can now be detected in surface and underground waters as well as in soils.

What can we do against pharmaceutical residues in our waters?

After being introduced into human and animal organisms, some pharmaceutical compounds are secreted via urine unchanged, and then, through wastewater, those compounds may reach surface waters that serve as drinking water supplies, representing a risk for both aquatic ecosystems and for the purity of drinking water.

Microplastics from an unexpected source

We’ve known for a long time that plastic food packaging, wearing car tyres and clothing made of synthetic fibres are all sources of microplastic pollution. However, a new study has identified a new source of pollution in our kitchens, or more precisely in our teacups.