Socioeconomic factors influence pollution: Australian study

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 16, 2021
Adjust font size:

CANBERRA, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- Researchers from Australia's national science agency have found that socioeconomic factors influence land and ocean pollution.

In a world-first study of its kind published on Thursday, the team from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) analyzed data from 22,508 land-based and 7,290 seafloor cleanups in more than 100 countries between 2011 and 2018.

They found that socioeconomic factors, such as wealth and infrastructure affect how much pollution is found on land, in waterways and on the seafloor.

Denise Hardesty, a CSIRO Senior Research Scientist and leader of the study, said plastic pollution was higher near cities, and less pollution was found in areas with higher national wealth.

"Pollution hotspots were found in every inhabited continent on Earth, not just in those places that have previously been identified as the biggest polluters," Hardesty said in a media release.

"By identifying these locations using real data, local decision makers can assess opportunities on where and how to implement effective policies to reduce plastic in the environment.

"Given the sheer volume of single-use packaging items recorded, changing the way we use and dispose of these items will likely substantially reduce the amount of litter found on land, in our waterways, and on the bottom of the ocean."

Researchers found a positive correlation between cigarette butts and national wealth, and that takeaway and beverage containers increased in areas with large populations.

Plastic beverage bottles were more common in tropical countries such as Jamaica and Costa Rica.

The 10 most abundant items found on the seafloor were fishing line, plastic pieces, glass bottles, plastic bottles, food wrappers, metal cans, plastic bags, fishing gear, plastic cutlery, and rope.

The 10 most abundant items on land included cigarette butts, food wrappers, plastic beverage bottles, plastic bottle caps, plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic take-away containers, plastic lids, and foam take-away containers and plastic pieces.

The study was based on cleanup data from U.S.-based Ocean Conservancy and the PADI AWARE Foundation -- a non-profit focused on ocean conservation. Enditem

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from