River floods are boosting the global spread of plastic, study finds

‘Our children die in our hands’: Floods ravage South Sudan

On a scrap of land surrounded by flooding in South Sudan, families drink and bathe from the waters that swept away latrines and continue to rise.

Some 1 million people in the country have been displaced or isolated for months by the worst flooding in memory, with the intense rainy season a sign of climate change. The waters began rising in June, washing away crops, swamping roads and worsening hunger and disease in the young nation struggling to recover from civil war. Now famine is a threat…

River floods are boosting the global spread of plastic, study finds

‘The further plastic goes from where it comes from, the harder it is to clear up’
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

River floods are boosting the spread of plastic around the world, a study has found, raising potentially severe health risks for people and wildlife.

The research revealed that, globally, a low-severity flood can boost the spread potential of plastic nearly 10-fold, when compared to non-flooding conditions.

However, the ability of floods to boost the spread of plastic is greatest in developing regions, which tend to have the highest rates of plastic pollution and the lowest number flood defences, the study said.

Bangladesh is the country facing the highest increase in the spread of plastic during floods, according to the results. In Bangladesh, a low-severity flood can lead to a 40-fold increase in the spread potential of plastic, when compared to non-flooding conditions…

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