Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

So recycling is expensive? What about the waste dumped in the oceans?

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.

We pay a heavy price for the pollution in the value delivered by fisheries, aquaculture, recreational activities and also in global well-being: the loss of the benefits provided by the oceans is estimated at 
1–5 percent globally.

The leading author of the study, Dr Nicola Beaumont, a researcher at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory has stressed that their study was the first attempt to put a price tag on the catastrophe that the oceans are suffering. In the future, more studies taking additional factors into account will be required to get a realistic picture of the magnitude of the problem.

Recycling a tonne of plastic costs several hundred dollars – but if we do not neutralize it, it will cause several thousand dollars’ worth of damage – said Dr Kayleigh Wyles, an expert on environmental psychology at the University of Surrey, in relation to the paper.

Plastic pollution of the oceans is causing 2.5 trillion dollars of damage a year for mankind Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: The Guardian

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.