A plastic washing-up bottle that is at least 47 years old has been found washed up on a beach in the UK with its lettering and messaging still clear, prompting warnings about the enduring problem of plastic waste.
The bottle advertises itself as 4d off, meaning it dates back to before decimalisation was introduced in Britain in 1971, making it at least 47 years old.
Some types of plastic bottles take 450 years to break down.
Every dot represents 20kg of plastic, according to a six year worldwide study.
Kiwis “must be vigilant” about swimming in our rivers, a freshwater scientist says, with data often showing high levels of E. coli in waterways.
A Herald investigation last week revealed how samples taken from two Auckland spots were well above levels of the key faecal indicator that would be considered safe for swimming.
But a study by the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA) shows that’s a regular occurrence in rivers around the country.
A recent analysis of 928 spots tested between 2009 and 2013 showed that all urban sites exceeded the minimum acceptable state for “primary contact” like swimming, as set out by the Government’s National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management.
This threshold was also crossed at 91 per cent of pastoral sites, 46 per cent of exotic forest sites and 29 per cent of “natural” areas of native forest.
About half of New Zealand’s river length is fed by catchments that are mainly influenced by indigenous land cover, while 45.7 percent are influenced mainly by pasture, 5.1 percent by exotic forest, and 0.8 percent by urban land cover.
It is an uncontroversial fact that the state of the country’s freshwater resources has for decades been moving towards ecological collapse.
Freshwater ecosystems are key features of New Zealand’s natural heritage. Plentiful precipitation feeds many hundreds of streams, more than 70 major rivers, about 770 lakes and numerous underground aquifers.
More than 700 lakes are classified as “shallow” and up to 40 per cent of these are nutrient-enriched and no longer capable of supporting fish life.
Until relatively recently, water has never been considered a scarce resource in New Zealand. Consequently, the economic and regulatory controls over its allocation and use have been neglected.
The greatest impacts, however, have not come from water use but from land use: Agriculture, Urban, Dams, Mining & Forestry.
The International Criminal Court is looking to clamp down on infractions such as land grabbing, a practice that has seen multinationals take over large areas of foreign land to exploit its natural resources without benefiting the local inhabitants.
The move could reshape how business is done in developing countries. The Independent