The Chinese government has been pressuring people to stop putting pollution into rivers. Unfortunately it means they are dumping trash into oceans, over 200 million cubic meters of waste was found off the coast of China in 2018.

That’s a 27% increase from 2017. Much of the trash is made up of plastic and is dumped into industrial zones near the Yangtze and Pearl River deltas. Environmental groups have expressed to China the need to clean up and remove pollution from its rivers.

Huo Chuanlin is the deputy director of the ministry’s marine environment department. He said of the recent increase in trash, “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.”

Plastic is still everywhere in the ocean off the Chinese coast. An average of 24 kilograms per 1,000 square meters of surface area was found last year. Plastic was found to makeup 88% of surface trash, and was a major component of waste found below the surface.

According to Reuters, Huo said that even as China produces and exports 30% of the world’s total plastic, making it the largest producer and exporter, it is not a major polluting country.

To fix the problem, the government has earmarked some money and plans to set up an “ecological red line.” The government has set aside over $991 million to clean up waterways this year.  The ecological red line would make 30% of waters unavailable to development.

Plastic is a growing problem around the globe, especially in oceans. Italy recently gave notice that it would tax plastic in 2020 to help solve the problem. IKEA Israel is removing certain plastics from its stores in the country.

Read more One Green Planet news about companies working to reduce plastic pollution. There are also many products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans.

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