A new report conducted by environmental organizations has revealed some of the biggest polluters and those responsible for port congestion. Unsurprisingly, the main contributors are some of the world’s biggest retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, and IKEA.

The report revealed that between 2018 to 2020, these retailers, among others, were responsible for 20 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions for goods imported to the US. These big retailers are also responsible for creating major port congestion in certain areas, as their cargo ships block local ports and spew pollution into the surrounding community.

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This has long been a public health concern, but it has only continued to grow worse. The report said, “Until recently, the massive climate-disrupting and human health-harming emissions from international container shipping and the companies that are buying their services — have sailed under the radar of public scrutiny.”

As of 2021, the shipping industry accounts for almost 3% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Reports show that this percentage is only going to continue to climb as the demand for goods grows.

The report also said that “Idle vessels have created higher levels of asthma and cancer-associated air pollutants including particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, and sulfur oxide into the port-adjacent communities of San Pedro, Wilmington, and West Long Beach.”

This pollution has created a huge public health risk as these idle and lingering ships spew dangerous pollution into the neighboring communities. This is especially dangerous for communities surrounding congested and in-demand ports. 

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