The improper disposal of waste into the oceans is one of the world’s main environmental problems.
The dumping of toxic materials, plastics and sewage into our rivers and seas pollutes and kills fish, shellfish and other organisms. It also can lead to potential health implications for the people that consume them.
In Brazil, 50 tonnes of fish died after the dumping of toxic products into the Piquiri River, in Panama in 2019.
This year, Lebanon has also suffered the effects of water pollution: more than 40 tonnes of fish were found dead after pesticide spills in the Litani River.
Pollution of coastal regions by urban and industrial sewage, among other types of waste, facilitates the proliferation of bacteria that cause diseases such as cholera, bacterial dysentery, and typhoid fever.
In addition, plastics correspond to 80% of all waste found in oceans. Every year, about 10 million tonnes of waste are dumped into the water with disposable and cosmetic containers among the most common types of plastic rubbish discarded.
During their decomposition, plastics give off toxins that contaminate fish and shellfish. By eating these animals, humans can subsequently be exposed to these chemicals. Consuming these foods can cause health problems.