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SOURCE: The Independent

DATE: October 29, 2019

SNIP: The amount of plastic polluting China‘s coastal waters has soared following a government drive to stop rubbish being dumped in the country’s rivers.

More than 200 million cubic metres of waste was found floating off Chinese shores last year, up 27 per cent on 2017, according to the environment ministry.

Debris in the country’s seas has hit the highest level in a decade, with plastic accounting for the vast majority of the rubbish.

Most of the waste was dumped in the delta regions of the Yangtze and Pearl rivers, both major industrial zones on China’s eastern coast, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said.

Environmental groups have previously expressed concern that China, desperate to clean up its own rivers, is dumping increasing amounts of trash in its seas instead.

[S]cientists say China is the world’s leading generator of plastic waste.

In a study published in May, researchers at Tianjin University warned China’s “massive impact on the plastic levels of the ocean” was “a definite cause of concern” with “multiple economic, environmental and biological complications”.