China dumped 27% more trash into the oceans in 2018
China's environmental ministry said in a briefing that the country plans to make 30 percent of its coastal waters off-limits for development to allow the area to recover.
BEIJING — China discarded 200.7 million cubic meters of waste into its coastal waters in 2018.
In a briefing on October 29, China's environmental ministry said that this is a 27 percent increase from 2017 and the highest level in at least a decade. The bulk of the waste was dumped into the delta regions of the Yangtze and Pearl rivers.
China is discarding large amounts of trash into its ocean waters in an attempt to clean up its rivers, Reuters reports, citing environmental groups.
According to the ministry, the country found an average of 24 kilograms of floating waste for every 1,000 square meters of surface water, almost 90 percent of the waste was plastic. Plastic waste was also found below surface water and on the seabed.
China said it plans to designate 30 percent of its coastal waters to be completely off-limits for development as part of the country's "ecological red line" scheme.
China is also moving its steel and petrochemical industries to its coastline in order to protect its rivers at the same time, according to Reuters.
Huo Chuanlin, from China's environmental ministry, explained in the briefing that they were working to improve on the issue of wastewater from rivers entering into oceans.
Huo added that China cannot be blamed for the global ocean plastic pollution crisis, even though the nation is the biggest manufacturer and exporter of plastic products around the world.
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