Statistics about plastic pollution and the far-reaching impact of this material are so massive it is hard to even comprehend how bad the issue is, but a picture is worth a thousand words – and this video of a Haitian river that is more trash than water says everything about this sad and dangerous reality.
The video, shared by Buenos Aires-based charity Red Climática Mundial and recorded by Hervé Saintilus, shows the unbelievable state of a river in the coastal commune of Léogâne. Plastic trash is a huge problem in Haiti, littering the streets and waterways, as garbage is being dumped there due to the poor waste management system. Even though the government prohibited the import of polyethylene and polystyrene in 2012 to alleviate the problem, the law has not been properly enforced, and the issue still needs to be resolved.
The haunting footage highlights the burning problem of plastic waste and what happens on a global scale. The takeout containers and countless other items floating in the river illustrate the true second life of the plastics we use on a daily basis. Much of the non-biodegradable waste we use today is polluting the environment, threatening wildlife, and even coming back to us in different ways.
Over 8.8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans every year, and it is estimated that some 85 percent of the plastic we throw away is not recycled. To learn how you can cut this harmful material out of your life, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign.