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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

The Danube is full of microplastics

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.

1 cigarette butt – 1000 litres of polluted water

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.

Millions of children die each year due to lack of access to clean water

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.

Polluted water is responsible for the tragedy of coral reefs

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.