Science

Chinas Ocean Waste Surges 27% in 2018: Ministry

BEIJING/SHANGHAI—China dumped a total of 200.7 million cubic meters of waste into its coastal waters in 2018, a 27 percent rise on the previous year and the highest level in at least a decade, the countrys environment ministry said on Oct. 29.

The majority of the waste was dumped in the delta regions of the Yangtze and Pearl rivers, both major industrial zones on Chinas eastern coast, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) said.

“At the moment, there are some clear problems with the work on the marine ecological environment, with some regions not showing a lot of awareness or paying sufficient attention, and lacking strong initiative and dedication,” Huo Chuanlin, deputy director of the MEEs marine environment department, said at a briefing in Beijing.

Environmental groups have expressed concern that China, desperate to clean up its own rivers, is dumping increasing amounts of trash in its seas instead.

Of the 8.8 million tons of plastic waste that flows down the worlds “small first order streams to large rivers that discharge to the sea,” the “top ten” polluting rivers account for 88-95 percent of plastics that flow each year into the worlds oceans.

The six Chinese rivers on the “top ten” list—the Yangtze, Yellow, Hai, Pearl, the Amur that borders Russia, and the headlands of the Mekong River—account for about 3.8 million tons, or almost half of the worlds plastic flow into the oceans. The Yangtze alone accounts for 1.6 million tons of plastic discharged into the oceans.

China found an average of 24 kilograms of floating trash per 1,000 square meters of surface water last year, 88.7 percent of which was plastic, the ministry said. Plastic also dominated the waste found below the surface, including on the seabed.

Earlier this year, Beijing published an action plan deRead More – Source

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