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The three principal plastic waste contributing rivers of the World

Plastic pollution in the marine environment has become a significant concern because of its persistence at sea and its damaging effects on marine life and, potentially, human health.

Laurent C. M. Lebreton and his team estimated that between 1.15 and 2.41 million tonnes of plastic waste presently enter the ocean annually from rivers, with over 74 percent of emissions occurring between May and October. The top 20 polluting rivers, primarily located in the Asian continent, accounting for 67 percent of the global total.

GIS specialist John Nelson was impressed by the “Principle Rivers/Lakes/Mountains” map diagrams that were popular in the mid-1800s and visualized top plastic waste-contributing rivers worldwide (Yangtze, Ganges, and Xi rivers).

Plastic Waste Contributing Rivers of the World


Top plastic waste-contributing rivers by metric tonnes of plastic are deposited daily:
1. Yangtze River and basin - 912 tonnes
2. Ganges River and basin - 315 tonnes
3. Xi River and basin - 202 tonnes


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