Terrawatch: the rivers taking plastic to the oceans

Just 10 river systems transport more than 90% of all plastic waste to the world’s seas, new research shows

Every minute one rubbish lorry’s-worth of plastic is dumped into the sea. If we continue at this rate, some estimate that our oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050. So where does all the plastic come from? New research reveals that just 10 river systems transport more than 90% of plastic waste to the world’s oceans.

Rivers are the arteries of our planet. From tiny tumbling streams to vast sluggish deltas, rivers are the link between the atmosphere, land and oceans. Since time immemorial people have clustered near rivers, taking advantage of the fresh water, fertile land, ready-made transport links and plentiful fish. And of course rivers are also excellent conveyor belts for whisking rubbish away.

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