Pollution from our ever-growing consumerism has left waste in just about every country on earth, some of us are just lucky enough not to see it every day (that too, is quickly changing). Here, we see two year old Prisaida sit in the shallow lagoon where her parents hunt for gold in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, among plastic waste. Sadly, this isn’t the only place that looks like this.
19. Wenzhou, China
China is notorious for their pollution, and for good reason. With environmental laws at the discretion of each province, things get a little sketchy. Pictured above is a local river in Wenzhou, China which has been dyed red by local fabric factories. Authorities reported that multiple bucks of the carcinogenic red dye was improperly discarded by the river ultimately contaminating it.
The people who call the river home aren’t the only ones effected by it either, as the pollution almost always finds it’s way down river into the ocean.
18. Mumbai, India
The amount of pollution in the rivers in Mumbai is astonishing, as you can see here. We can only imagine how these men feel as they sort through loads and loads of waste searching for things to sell. Rivers here are not closely regulated, causing essentially a free-for-all dump zone. It’s not just plastic waste that gets discarded here, but raw sewage, chemical waste, and industrial waste.
Eastern countries aren’t the only one’s with polluted waters.
17. Brooklyn, New York
In one of the most polluted cities in America, this injured dolphin finds itself among loads of trash. With the amount of unsorted and improperly handled garbage and plastic waste the city of New York produces, it’s a surprise the government hasn’t stepped in.
The US clearly has huge issues with pollution and the inability to take responsibility and clean up, which is why it’s important for YOU to take action. Don’t get overwhelmed, it’s easier than one may think. Start by supporting companies that actively work against pollution and offer products that will change our future. For instance, the next time you go shopping for a swimsuit, try choosing a company like Swim Goddess. They make all of their swimwear with fabric made from recycled ocean plastic–pretty cool, huh?
Perdido Pass, Florida is where workers cleared two of these one-ton tar balls from nearby waters, hoping to contain the massive life-sucking material from erroding coral reefs and killing marine life. Sadly, for many, the help came too late.
15. Sea Birds
These seabirds were spotted off the coast of Papamoa, New Zealand, where they met their demise due to oil spillage left by a container ship. Animals of all species are effected by our dependence on oil, from the fish we eat to the birds and marine life that regulate our ecosystems. If we don’t stop polluting our environment, life as we know it will cease to exist.
Don’t believe me? Keep scrolling.
Here we see citizens of Guatemala search for scrap metal in one of the most polluted sites in the country, a dump in Guatemala City, known as “the mine”. Due to the severity of the pollution, the people that earn a living scavenging here face the threat of mudslides, trash collapsing and burying them alive, and of course, disease.
This garbage dump in Disko, Greenland is one of a kind, but not for what you might think. The dump is enormous and the copious amount of recyclable material left unsorted is one thing, but the serene backdrop of naturally formed icebergs juxtaposing the heaps of trash give artists and activists a-like plenty of ammunition for the War on Pollution.
12. Deepwater Horizon
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill that effected the Gulf of Mexico in the 2010 was one of the worst man-made disasters to effect our oceans. Pictured here are the hands of marine biologist Scott Porter as he displays the filth picked up from the shoreline just south of Venice, Louisiana.
11. Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bangladesh is one of the world’s largest textile and clothing manufactures, and the toxic chemicals and dyes used to treat and produce said clothing has an enormous environmental impact. Pictured above is a river in Dhaka, the countries industrial capital. Among the chemical waste lies plastic and raw sewage.
With the world’s ever-growing love of consumerism, Dhaka has become a leading polluter in the world’s water crisis in order to satiate the Western world’s never-ending fast-fashion invoice.
Speaking of fast-fashion killing our environment, the next time you want to endlessly online shop, try a boutique that tries to combat fast-fashion, like
10. Rio de Janerio
This picture alone should be enough to get you to stop using plastic, as our addiction to it has become toxic. Here we see a wild pig eating out of an intensely polluted river in Rio, where the water isn’t the only toxic agent. Recently, studies show that Rio’s air quality is so poor, that the amount of toxins and chemicals found in it surpasses the notoriously filthy waterways.
9. Gold King Mine, Colorado
In 2015 one of the most intense mining disasters struck Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado. The Anamas River had nearly 3 million gallons of toxic mine waste dumped in it when contractors from the Environmental Protection Agency accidentally destroyed a plug holding back the water. Waterways in nearby states were also effected, yet the government didn’t warn residents until 24 hours after the spill. The worst part? The EPA knew there was a risk the plug could blow, yet didn’t take necessary precautions to prevent the immense damage. Clean-up of toxic levels of chemicals like lead, iron, and arsenic continued for months after the spill.