The Stream, May 22, 2019: Malaysia Sends Back Plastic Waste Imports as Scrap Stifles Water and Soil
The Global Rundown
Malaysia begins sending imported, non-recyclable plastic waste back to its country of origin as trash contaminates soil and water. Water is restored to Tripoli, Libya, after gunmen cut supply earlier this week. Some say India’s water crisis was largely overlooked as the country’s sprawling general election draws to a close. Flooding in northern England from Storm Desmond was the worst in 600 years, a study claims. In California’s irrigation-rich Central Valley, fieldworkers often lack clean water in their homes.
“Clean water flows toward power and money. Homes, schools and clinics are supposed to be the safest places to go. But not in our world.” –Susana De Anda, a water-rights advocate in California. More than 300 public water systems in California are tainted with toxins, and a majority lie in the Central and Salinas Valleys, the state’s agricultural hubs. Lawmakers have proposed taxes and other measures to address the issue. The New York Times
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By The Numbers
456,000 tonnes Amount of plastic waste imported in Malaysia between January and July 2018. After China halted imports of plastic waste from the developed world, much of the scrap was diverted to Malaysia. The imports often include poor-quality, non-recyclable plastic, though, which is tainting the country’s soil and water. In response, Malaysia is sending non-recyclable plastic back to its country of origin. Reuters
42 percent Proportion of India that is currently affected by drought, according to a recent estimate. The country’s multi-week general election has drawn to a close, and despite politicians’ promises to deliver clean water to all, many residents and experts feel the issue of water is being overlooked by lawmakers in India. BBC
Science, Studies, and Reports
Storm Desmond, which struck northern England in December 2015, was the worst regional flooding in 600 years, according to a new study. Researchers drew their conclusions based on sediment samples, and say the exceptional floods are a sign of the changing climate. BBC
On the Radar
Water to embattled Tripoli, Libya, has been restored two days after a group of gunmen halted the main supply to the city’s 2.5 million residents. The Tripoli government claims the water was cut off by the same group that also stopped supply in 2017. Al Jazeera
Kayla Ritter is a recent graduate of Michigan State University, where she studied International Relations and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently based in Manton, Michigan. Kayla enjoys running, writing, and traveling. Contact Kayla Ritter
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