Plastic drink bottles choking  the  Juzna Morava River in Serbia.   Photo by Darko Vojinovic - Associated Press with thanks.

Plastic drink bottles choking the Juzna Morava River in Serbia.
Photo by Darko Vojinovic – Associated Press with thanks.

This photo is currently doing the rounds on Facebook.   “May 2013. Serbian police rescue team paddling through the plastic bottles on the river Juzna Morava, near Vranje, 350 kilometers (220 miles) south of Belgrade, the Serbian capital.” 

I’ve seen images of canals in Asia that are full of all kinds of rubbish, but nothing like this – a river literally choking in plastic drink bottles.

The photo made me think of the Cooks River.  Until I saw this image I would not have believed that a river could end up in such a condition.  It is a strong warning of what can happen if we do not take action to protect our environment.  It’s only a matter of degrees.

Keep Australia Beautiful said in 2013 that –

  • “Australians spend more than half a billion dollars on bottle water per year with an annual use of bottled water generating over 60,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the same amount that 13,000 cars generate over a whole year. 
  • Only 36% of plastic drink bottles are recycled Australia-wide, with approximately 373 million bottles ending up in waste.
  • The bottles that end up in landfill can take up to 1,000 years to break down with bottle often ending up in the ocean where they pose a severe danger to marine life.
  • It is estimated that 200ml of oil is used to produce each litre bottle of water.
  • Worldwide consumption of bottled water is now estimated at around 180 billion litres a year.”

Our own Cooks River Valley Association (see Blogroll) & the Cooks River Alliance is working with The Boomerang Alliance on a local level to help the Cooks River by lobbying for a national ‘Cash for Containers’ scheme.   We need to do all that we can to prevent our river from deteriorating into anything resembling this river in Serbia.  For information on the Boomerang Alliance & the campaign see – http://www.boomerangalliance.org.au/

Sadly, this is a common sight on the Cooks River.

Sadly, this is a common sight on the Cooks River.

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