Microplastics polluting natural bodies of water – which are present in increasing quantities around the world – present a major environmental, food safety and health hazard. Among the rivers in Hungary that have been tested so far, the most were found in the Danube: 50 particles per cubic metre.
Most of the complaints one hears about smoking concern its health hazards, while there is much less said about the damage that is still done after the cigarette is extinguished. Yet the cotton buds and straws targeted by those aiming to combat plastic pollution come a poor second in terms of polluting the seas – cigarette butts are clearly the winner.
The plastic polluting the oceans costs mankind 2.5 trillion dollars a year. The authors of a study published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin warned that previously, specialists had seriously underestimated the value of the social and economic damage caused by plastic waste.
According to a UN report, a child died every five seconds somewhere in the world in 2017, but most of those deaths could have been prevented, as they were mostly caused by lack of clean water, hygiene, nutrition and basic healthcare services.
The disheartening condition of our wonderful coral reefs is one of the most painful examples of the shocking and perhaps irreversible environmental processes currently under way around us. According to an Australian study, the destruction of coral is caused by polluted river water, which inhibits their capacity to regenerate.