water pollution

Volunteers cleaned up 45 tons of garbage from Manila Bay beach, restored it to its former glory

Humans have the power to make things right again.

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Yes, believe your eyes: That is indeed a five-story building floating down a Chinese river

And yet in some ways it’s not at all what it seems.

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Japan’s secret garbage problem–and what you can do to help

Japan is one of the cleanest countries you’ll encounter as a traveler. The inside of the bullet train is kept absolutely spotless, taxi drivers can be seen buffing their vehicles of dust and road grit while waiting for the next customer. Graffiti is rare here and men in jumpsuits are employed to scrape off gum and anything else adhered to train station floors. Glamorous and gleaming is the way the Japanese like things. Even diesel trucks are washed down in their terminals after a day on the roads.

So it’s no surprise that the city streets are litter-free, that public trash bins ask you to separate your refuse into burnable and non-burnable bins, or that the Japanese have a reputation for taking their garbage home with them when attending sporting events.

So it may have been a surprise to some of our readers when someone commented on the trashiness of Japanese beaches in response to my previous article on Japanese beach culture, saying: “The number one beach activity in Japan is actually turning it into a giant open dump, full or empty beer cans, cigarette buds, and plastics of all kinds. It’s a big paradox when you see how clean the streets are.”

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China’s polluted rivers can be surprisingly pretty, but might turn you into a mutant

It’s well-known that China’s struggling with some serious air pollution, but perhaps less talked about is the toll being taken on their rivers. According to a recent survey conducted by Chinese media, 96% of respondents felt that not a single river around them was clean enough to swim in. And judging from these photos, anyone who did decide to risk a dive would probably come out looking worse than the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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“It’s Just like Red Bean Soup,” Chinese Official Sacked after Trying to Downplay River Pollution Fears

An official from the environment bureau in Hebei Province, China, was dismissed after telling residents that underground water that had turned red due to discharge from a nearby factory “was not polluted,” likening it to “red bean soup.”
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The Fishing Industry Cries in Dismay Over the Setonai Sea Being Too Pure For the Fish

The sea is too clean for the fish! 

Efforts to clean up the sea have caused an adverse reaction giving the fishing Industries in Hyogo, Okayama, and Oita Prefectures along the Setonai Seaboard a major headache.  The irony being that the sea is too clean for the fish to thrive.

An analysis of the sea water by researchers found the natural levels of Nitrogen and phosphorous in the salt content of the sea water needed for the nutritional growth of healthy plankton have diminished to the point that it has effected the natural eco system of the sea. Without enough plankton, the major nutrition for many small sea animals, the whole food chain is disrupted to the point of great loss to the fishing Industry.

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