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Not really sure where to post this, so picked this one. Please move it, if necessary, mods...

I came across the article this morning and found it to be a bit frightening, but also no surprise, after seeing this river a number of times. I believe the Davao River might be almost as bad, or possibly worse?

https://www.msn.com/en-ph/money/business/pasig-is-worlds-most-polluting-river-—-study/ar-AAKSnkV?li=BBr8Mkn

 

"Pasig is world’s most polluting river — study

 

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PASIG RIVER is considered the world’s most polluting river when it comes to plastic waste, according to research published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

At the same time, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and International Container Terminal Services, Inc. Group (ICTSI) Foundation on Wednesday launched initiatives to help rehabilitate the polluted river.

An April study published by the AAAS’ Science Advances journal showed the 28% of the rivers responsible for global plastic pollution are in the Philippines.

The Philippines had 466 rivers out of the 1,656 rivers that accounted for 80% of ocean plastic waste, followed by India with 211 and Malaysia with 105.

“The world’s most polluting river when it comes to plastic is the 27-kilometer Pasig River which runs through Metro Manila, accounting for 63,000 tons of plastic entering oceans from rivers per year,” a statement from the Climate Change Commission (CCC) read.

Aside from Pasig, the list of top 50 rivers that carry the most trash into the ocean included 18 more from the Philippines.

These rivers are Tullahan, Meycauayan, Pampanga, Libmanan, Rio Grande de Mindanao, Agno, Agusan, Parañaque, Iloilo, Imus, Zapote, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Malaking Tubig, Tambo in Pasay, Jalaur, Cagayan and Hamulauon.

The Philippines is also said to be the country with the highest averaged probability for a plastic particle to reach the ocean in a year, at 7.2%.

“The study findings raise extreme concern on the issue of mismanaged plastic wastes in the country, and supports the call…for urgent efforts to solve the plastic crisis by implementing measures to regulate and in turn, halt the production of unnecessary plastics-made straws and stirrers, spoon and fork, and plastic labo, among others,” CCC said.

REHABILITATION PLAN

Meanwhile, SMC on Wednesday said it is allocating P2 billion for its five-year plan to clean up the Pasig River.

Described as the “largest-ever river rehabilitation project in the country,” it will involve extracting 50,000 metric tons of silt and solid waste per month from the river, or 600,000 metric tons a year using advanced and specialized equipment.

The project is supported by the departments of Environment, Public Works, Interior and Local Government, Philippine Coast Guard, and local government units, including Manila, Mandaluyong, Makati, and Pasig.

“There have been many cleanup efforts in the past, and government has successfully implemented a number of programs these past few years. But decades of pollution and compounding problems that have rendered the river biologically dead since the 1990s are too significant and complex to overcome — even for the best-intentioned advocates and organizations,” SMC President Ramon S. Ang said in a statement.

“We hope that with the resources and technical know-how that we are bringing into the effort today — along with the continued support of our National Government agencies and local government units — we can all make a bigger difference,” Mr. Ang added.

Also, the ICTSI Foundation said it has partnered up with Finnish nongovernmental organization RiverRecycle to introduce a sustainable river waste collection system along Pasig River.

ICTSI Foundation said it will allot $1 million for the implementation of Rivercycle, adding that this will complement existing efforts in restoring the 27-kilometer river.

The project will involve collecting plastic waste using a device to capture between 70 to 200 tons of waste per day, as well as raising awareness of waste management practices in the communities.

“The collected plastic waste will be converted into oil before being converted back into plastic,” ICTSI Foundation said. — A.Y. Yang"

 

A side note to this.... We ordered up several loads of "soil" to help landscape our property. We figured out, after a while, that it must be river dredgings, due to the rubbish that we discovered when moving it around - flip-slops, plastic wrappers and packagings and other things (L found a condom!). 

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Not really sure where to post this, so picked this one. Please move it, if necessary, mods... I came across the article this morning and found it to be a bit frightening, but also no surprise, af

There needs to be a sea-change in attitudes here, towards throwing everything on the ground...ie LITTERING ! The filth and garbage thrown everywhere in this country, is an absolute unforgivable d

L told me that the common mind-set here in the PI is to drop or dispose of any trash or rubbish outside of the home, whether it be nice home, nipa hut or tent. Once it is outside the dwelling unit, it

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I wonder if something like this would help?   Seems to be both affordable and efficient.

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/06/08/europe/bubble-barrier-sea-c2e-spc-intl/index.html

Spoiler

 

What do old televisions, street signs, motorbike helmets, windsurf boards, and Christmas trees have in common? They were all caught floating down Amsterdam's Westerdok canal -- by a curtain of bubbles.

"The Bubble Barrier" was developed as a simple way to stop plastic pollution flowing from waterways into the ocean. An air compressor sends air through a perforated tube running diagonally across the bottom of the canal, creating a stream of bubbles that traps waste and guides it to a catchment system.
It traps 86% of the trash that would otherwise flow to the River IJssel and further on to the North Sea, according to Philip Ehrhorn, co-founder and chief technology officer of The Great Bubble Barrier, the Dutch social enterprise behind the system.
Commissioned by the municipality of Amsterdam and the region's water authority, the Bubble Barrier was installed in October 2019 in under five hours.
Ehrhorn says the idea is to catch plastic without having a physical barrier like a net or boom blocking the river, which could disrupt aquatic life or interfere with shipping.
Trash is lifted to surface, and guided to a catchment system.
To minimize noise, the compressor is located 50 meters away from the barrier, in a repurposed shipping container, and is powered by Amsterdam's renewable energy.
Ehrhorn says that while the bubble curtain can trap plastics down to 1 millimeter in size, the catchment system only retains objects that are 10 millimeters and larger. Small drifting aquatic life can get caught in the bubble curtain's current, but with time is able to pass through the catchment system, according to Ehrhorn. He adds that an independent third party is currently assessing the movement of fish around the Bubble Barrier.
'Like a jacuzzi'
With a background in naval architecture and ocean engineering, Ehrhorn, who is from Germany, first conceived the Bubble Barrier when he spent a semester abroad in Australia, studying environmental engineering. At a wastewater treatment plant, he saw how oxygen bubbles were used to break down organic matter.
"It was like a jacuzzi," says Ehrhorn. "And what I noticed is that some of the plastic that people had flushed down the toilet was collecting in one corner." This observation sparked his thesis and later the technology behind the Bubble Barrier.
'Polar Pod' floating laboratory will flip onto its side and drift around Antarctica to research the Southern Ocean
'Polar Pod' floating laboratory will flip onto its side and drift around Antarctica to research the Southern Ocean
Unbeknownst to Ehrhorn, three Dutch women were working on the exact same idea in Amsterdam. Anne Marieke Eveleens, Saskia Studer and Francis Zoet were at a bar one evening discussing plastic pollution when they looked at the bubbles in their beer glasses and inspiration struck.
By chance, a friend of Ehrhorn's saw their pitch video for a competition inviting solutions for removing plastic from the environment.
"We connected and found that we have the same vision and mission," remembers Ehrhorn. "So I handed in my thesis and moved to the Netherlands the next day." Together, the four turned a simple idea into a fully fledged Bubble Barrier pilot in Amsterdam's River IJssel.
Bubbles guide trash to the catchment system, bottom right.
Bubbles guide trash to the catchment system, bottom right.
The plastic problem
Up to 80% of ocean plastic is thought to come from rivers and coastlines. Ehrhorn says much of the plastic in Amsterdam's Westerdok canal comes from trash bags that local residents leave outside their homes. If the bags tear, wind and rain can carry trash into the canal.
Read: Could mealworms help solve our plastic crisis?
Globally, 11 million metric tons of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year, where it can suffocate and entangle some aquatic species. Plastic debris less than five millimeters in length, known as microplastics, can also affect marine life. Often mistaken for food, microplastics are ingested and have been found in zooplankton, fish, invertebrates and mammalian digestive systems.

Plastic pollution in the ocean is a massive -- and growing -- problem. Midway Atoll, a remote island situated on the edge of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is covered with plastic debris swept onto its beaches by oceanic currents. This Laysan albatross chick is being fed pieces of plastic by its parents, which mistake the waste for food. Seabirds which ingest plastic waste are <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/30/health/seabirds-plastic-pollution-health-problems-scli-intl/index.html" target="_blank">smaller, lighter and suffer from a litany of health problems</a>. Plastic waste kills up to <a href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Ocean_Factsheet_Pollution.pdf" target="_blank">one million seabirds</a> every year.   
Photos: What is ocean plastic doing to marine animals?
Albatross chick – Plastic pollution in the ocean is a massive -- and growing -- problem. Midway Atoll, a remote island situated on the edge of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is covered with plastic debris swept onto its beaches by oceanic currents. This Laysan albatross chick is being fed pieces of plastic by its parents, which mistake the waste for food. Seabirds which ingest plastic waste are smaller, lighter and suffer from a litany of health problems. Plastic waste kills up to one million seabirds every year.
 an estimated 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is dumped or lost in the ocean every year, making up a significant proportion of all marine plastic waste. The nets can carry on fishing for hundreds of years, killing fish, whales, dolphins, turtles and seabirds. 
Photos: What is ocean plastic doing to marine animals?
Sunfish – This sunfish has got trapped in a ghost fishing net, off the coast of Spain's Costa Brava. According to Greenpeace, an estimated 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is dumped or lost in the ocean every year, making up a significant proportion of all marine plastic waste. The nets can carry on fishing for hundreds of years, killing fish, whales, dolphins, turtles and seabirds.


Herons feeding on plastic at a garbage dump near the coast in Aceh province, Indonesia. Indonesia is among the biggest contributors of oceanic plastic.
Photos: What is ocean plastic doing to marine animals?
Plastic diet – Herons feeding on plastic at a garbage dump near the coast in Aceh province, Indonesia. Indonesia is among the biggest contributors of oceanic plastic.

Plastic pollution in the ocean is a massive -- and growing -- problem. Midway Atoll, a remote island situated on the edge of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is covered with plastic debris swept onto its beaches by oceanic currents. This Laysan albatross chick is being fed pieces of plastic by its parents, which mistake the waste for food. Seabirds which ingest plastic waste are <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/30/health/seabirds-plastic-pollution-health-problems-scli-intl/index.html" target="_blank">smaller, lighter and suffer from a litany of health problems</a>. Plastic waste kills up to <a href="https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/Ocean_Factsheet_Pollution.pdf" target="_blank">one million seabirds</a> every year.   
Photos: What is ocean plastic doing to marine animals?
Albatross chick – Plastic pollution in the ocean is a massive -- and growing -- problem. Midway Atoll, a remote island situated on the edge of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, is covered with plastic debris swept onto its beaches by oceanic currents. This Laysan albatross chick is being fed pieces of plastic by its parents, which mistake the waste for food. Seabirds which ingest plastic waste are smaller, lighter and suffer from a litany of health problems. Plastic waste kills up to one million seabirds every year.

The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the most <a href="https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/hawaiian-monk-seal" target="_blank">endangered seal species</a> in the world with an estimated population of 1,400. Chewing on plastic bottles will not help their survival. 
Photos: What is ocean plastic doing to marine animals?
Seal – The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the most endangered seal species in the world with an estimated population of 1,400. Chewing on plastic bottles will not help their survival.

This sunfish has got trapped in a ghost fishing net, off the coast of Spain's Costa Brava. According to <a href="https://www.greenpeace.org/international/publication/25438/ghost-gear/" target="_blank">Greenpeace</a>, an estimated 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is dumped or lost in the ocean every year, making up a significant proportion of all marine plastic waste. The nets can carry on fishing for hundreds of years, killing fish, whales, dolphins, turtles and seabirds. 
Photos: What is ocean plastic doing to marine animals?
Sunfish – This sunfish has got trapped in a ghost fishing net, off the coast of Spain's Costa Brava. According to Greenpeace, an estimated 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is dumped or lost in the ocean every year, making up a significant proportion of all marine plastic waste. The nets can carry on fishing for hundreds of years, killing fish, whales, dolphins, turtles and seabirds.


NPW Midway Chick Beach NOAANPW Midway Plastic Seal NOAA01 ocean wildlife plasticPLASTIC TURTLE 2indian ocean trashPlastic fish03 ocean wildlife plastic02 ocean wildlife plastic
Seabird conservation ecologist Stephanie B. Borrelle is the Marine and Pacific Regional Coordinator for BirdLife International. Her research on plastic pollution has found that even with "ambitious commitments currently set by governments," we could release 53 million metric tons of plastic waste into the world's freshwater and marine ecosystems by 2030.
As a member of the Plastic Pollution Emissions Working Group, a team of self-described "scientists, policy wonks and conservation practitioners," Borrelle has also researched the Bubble Barrier.
"It was a really interesting one for us to look at, mostly because other types of barriers placed into aquatic environments can be a bit problematic in the way they interact with ecological functioning and animals moving through that system," she says.
Borrelle has some reservations about the technology; she questions how suitable the system would be for wide rivers and in developing economies, with a pump that needs continuous electricity and occasional maintenance, and she notes that heavy bits of plastic may not be lifted up by the bubbles.
Read: How NASA technology can help save whale sharks -- the world's largest fish
"Also, if you've got a large amount of traffic going through, that's going to disrupt the plastic accumulation," Borrelle says, adding that boats plowing through the barrier could potentially drag plastic along.
"There are certain limitations, but as I see it, it's an important part of the toolbox we have to address plastic that's already in the environment," she says. "The thing about plastic pollution is that there is no one single solution to fixing it. Once it's in the environment, it's about trying to get it from every angle you possibly can."


For the moment, the Great Bubble Barrier team works with Amsterdam's water authority and the Plastic Soup Foundation NGO to analyze what kind of plastic has been caught and identify its sources, to help develop new policies around plastic waste.
Amsterdam's water authority empties the catchment system's 1.8-meter by 2-meter basket three times a week. The contents are sent to a waste processor for sorting, and suitable materials are recycled. Ehrhorn says that the pandemic means they haven't been able to quantify how much plastic the Bubble Barrier has caught to date.
The startup, which is for-profit, plans to install more Bubble Barriers across the Netherlands, in Portugal and in Indonesia. It says the installation cost and energy use depends on the location and the flow of the river.
Beyond keeping plastic from our oceans, the system could help change attitudes. Because the waste inside the catchment system is easily visible to passersby, Ehrhorn believes it helps people realize how much waste is ending up in our waterways; in this way, the barrier also acts as an educational tool to discourage waste and littering.
"It concentrates on the trash that would otherwise flow off unseen and underwater even," he says. "It literally brings to the surface, [that] which was otherwise never seen."

 

 

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I have seen a similar article saying that The Philippines had 7 of its rivers, on the top 10 list, for rivers that contribute the most to the plastic polution of the worlds oceans.

I am the first to admit that people of the Philippines is doing a "great" job spreading plastic waste around them but I still find this a little bit hard to believe.

Pasig river is only 27 km long, it do runs through a heavily populated area but so do other rivers in the world too, and many of them are thousands of km in length. Look at the rivers of Mekong, Irrawaddy, Brahmaputra, Ganges, Yangtze, The Nile, Niger and Amazon.

It is good if they try to do something to adress the problems with plastic polution, but when somethings sounds too good or too bad to be true, I am getting sceptic :89:

 

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There needs to be a sea-change in attitudes here, towards throwing everything on the ground...ie LITTERING !

The filth and garbage thrown everywhere in this country, is an absolute unforgivable disgrace.

There is no excuse. It has nothing to do with poverty. It costs nothing to at least take your crap home with you.

...And then they want to attract more tourists...to what, a giant landfill site ? :rolleyes:

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I think the Philippines practices "catch and release fishing".  Each time they catch a fish they release a plastic bag. :571c66d400c8c_1(103):

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I don't think it's a matter of poverty etc, simply a significant minority/majority don't care.  I live in an average community, middle-class probably, and if the garbage truck drops some bits and pieces during the twice-weekly collection, they NEVER pick it up (the neighbours).  I do, I'm not too proud to keep the area clean looking.  It's a losing battle - my own son continues to drop litter despite our constant remonstrations with him about this.  All around him he says such behaviour as do all the kids so the cycle continues.  

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22 minutes ago, hk blues said:

It's a losing battle

In England they had London smog.  In America there was Silent Springs.  They seemed like losing battles too but decades later the battle is being won.  The Philippines will turn the tide when they have had enough living in and swimming in trash.

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1 hour ago, Dave Hounddriver said:

In England they had London smog.  In America there was Silent Springs.  They seemed like losing battles too but decades later the battle is being won.  The Philippines will turn the tide when they have had enough living in and swimming in trash.

But it's not really so bad that it's affecting their day to day life so where is the drive to change coming from?

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21 minutes ago, hk blues said:

But it's not really so bad that it's affecting their day to day life so where is the drive to change coming from?

Some think they are doing a favour by littering as others will get paid to pick it up. Just look at the tables in a McDonald's once people have finished their meals.  I get looks of surprise when I take my waste to the bins. 

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19 hours ago, Viking said:

I am the first to admit that people of the Philippines is doing a "great" job spreading plastic waste around them but I still find this a little bit hard to believe.

I agree.   I was going to post about this and you beat me to it. You are probably thinking of this study released in 2018:

Stemming the Plastic Tide: 10 Rivers Contribute Most of the Plastic in the Oceans
The Yangtze alone pours up to an estimated 1.5 million metric tons into the Yellow Sea

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/stemming-the-plastic-tide-10-rivers-contribute-most-of-the-plastic-in-the-oceans/

Yangtze River, Yellow Sea, Asia
Indus River, Arabian Sea, Asia
Yellow River (Huang He), Yellow Sea, Asia
Hai River, Yellow Sea, Asia
Nile, Mediterranean Sea, Africa
Meghna/Bramaputra/Ganges, Bay of Bengal, Asia
Pearl River (Zhujiang), South China Sea, Asia
Amur River (Heilong Jiang), Sea of Okhotsk, Asia
Niger River, Gulf of Guinea, Africa
Mekong River, South China Sea, Asia

https://www.treehugger.com/ocean-plastic-rivers-4868604

The two articles are too long to copy / paste.  That study has recently clarified that they meant that those 10 rivers contribute 95% of the total river borne plastic, not total plastic in the oceans.  Plastic comes from other sources too.

I think they still stand by their study and those huge rivers with many tributaries make more sense to me.  The Pasig River is certainly a filthy mess but it does not make sense that it is the #1.

The problem is, both studies do not actually measure any plastic.  They use theories and build formulas around various known data.  Population density, climate, etc., etc.  Many factors.  They are basically educated guesses.

Regardless, I do hope they raise awareness.  I hate littering and have since I was young.  It is a major irritant to living here, watching 75% of locals drop trash anywhere.

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