Greenpeace on Wednesday raised the alarm over microplastics in rivers after finding the pollutant in all the rivers it tested in Britain, calling it a “problem of enormous complexity”.
“We ignore this problem at our peril,” warned David Santillo, senior scientist with the Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter.
“Once microplastics are in the river, they become impossible to remove again, so we have to solve the problem at the source.”
Researchers from the NGO tested 13 rivers earlier this year, casting nets in 30 rural and urban areas.
They found 1,271 pieces of 15 different types of plastic, nearly half of which were polyethylene, and included items from degraded straws to microbeads.
Only two of the “relatively rural” 30 areas did not test positive, Greenpeace said in its report, published Wednesday.
“We are witnessing just the tip of a plastics iceberg,” it said.
The nets were only able to collect samples that were no deeper than 10 centimetres (four inches).
The impact of microplastics on freshwater fauna has yet to be determined, the study says.
The River Mersey in northwest England was the most polluted, with 875 microplastic samples collected in half an hour.
That makes it even more proportionally polluted than the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”, which is recognised as one of the most plastic-polluted expanses of water on earth, Greenpeace said.
It called on the British government to set legally-binding targets to reduce the production of single-use plastic packaging by at least 50 percent by 2025.
A ban on the sale of cosmetic and personal hygiene products containing microbeads in the UK came into force in January 2018.
Greenpeace urged for an extension of the ban to include other products such as sunscreen, lipstick and other household products.
Nicolle Wallace tells Colbert why she cursed at Fox News host Laura Ingraham — and that she left the GOP
MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace appeared on Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" Wednesday after spending hours analyzing the impeachment hearings that began that morning.
One of the first things Colbert asked about was the recent smackdown from Wallace about Fox News host Laura Ingraham and her guests going after Col. Alexander Vindman. Ingraham proposed that because Vindman was born in Ukraine that he was somehow a traitor to the United States for coming forward about President Donald Trump's admitted crimes.
‘It takes a small mind to want to out a whistleblower’: Rachel Maddow blasts Trump and GOP
In an analysis of the first day of impeachment, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow explained to late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon why the impeachment hearings were a lot more rational than she anticipated.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) switched committees just to appear and ask questions and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) humiliated himself, but aside from that, Maddow said she was surprised there were reasonable questions, and everyone remained calm.
Seth Meyers mocks Devin Nunes saying Dems wanted to find nude photos of Trump: ‘Literally no one wants that’
"Late Night" host Seth Meyers ridiculed Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for his absurd line of questioning that accused Democrats of the impeachment is the same as the Russia scandal.
Nunes said that Democrats want the world to forget about their efforts to obtain nude photos of Trump, something Meyers countered with actual sense.
"Hey man, I guarantee you no one wants nude pictures of Donald Trump," Meyers said. "I'm not crazy about clothed pictures of Donald Trump. Also, I have to believe that if there were nude pictures of Donald Trump, the first person to show them would be Donald Trump. He'd probably hold a press conference with a giant poster board."