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Top 10 most plastic polluted rivers in the world (2019)

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Would you believe that 90% of plastics in the ocean comes from just 10 rivers? 9 are located in Asia and one of them borders Thailand. So what are the most plastic polluted rivers in the world?

Every year, we, the world, produces 300 million tonnes of plastics, and 8.8 million tonnes of these are dumped into the oceans. That’s about 40 billion plastic bottles, 100 billion single-use plastic bags, and 522 million personal care items.

Disturbingly, 270,000 tonnes of these plastics are merely floating around on the ocean surface. That is more than 5 trillion individual pieces when broken down, excluding the millions of microplastic particles. You might be thinking that 270,000 tonnes is a lot, and you’re definitely right!

It’s equivalent to 33,750,000 bowling balls, 135,000 cars, 130,000 medium-sized boats, 1,225 cargo trains, or 36,000 adult elephants.

Obviously, this current amount of plastic garbage is wreaking havoc on our once pristine marine biodiversity. Approximately 700 marine species are in danger of extinction because of plastic pollution.

Sadly, 100,000 marine creatures are already dead because of plastic entanglement, while two-thirds of fish worldwide are still suffering from plastic ingestion.

“By 2050, there will be more plastics than fishes in the oceans.” – Eco News

Plastic isn’t really that fantastic. In a world where plastic is literally everywhere, the term “plastic river” is no longer a shocker.

When landfills fall short to accommodate all our trash, society turns to the rivers. This results in rivers that are entirely covered with waste. When seen from above, these rivers look like a solid sludge of plastic waste. All these rivers are channelled into the ocean, bringing the trash with them.

The top 10 most polluted rivers in the world have one thing in common – they are located alongside large human populations with poor waste management systems. Together, they deliver almost all the plastics in the entirety of our oceans.

10th The Mekong River

One of the longest rivers in Asia and one that’s close to home. The Mekong River travels through Asia bordering various countries like China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It supports 200 million people depending heavily on agricultural and fishing industries.

9thThe Niger River

The 9th ranked most polluted river on our list is the main river of West Africa. Niger River supports over 100 million citizens of Africa. From Nigeria, it flows through five countries before ending up in the Atlantic Ocean.

8th The Amur River

Also known as Heilong River, Amur River is located between the borders of the Heilongjiang province of China and Russia’s Siberia, before being emptied on the vastness of Okhotsk Sea.

7thThe Pearl River

Ironically, this river was named after its pearl-coloured shells lying at its bottom that flows through Guangzhou City. Another one of China’s most notorious river for harbouring plastics, this river isn’t looking pearly anymore. As a matter of fact, Hong Kong is consistently suffering from trash coming from Pearl River being washed on its shores.

6thThe Ganges River

Considered to be the most polluted river in India, The Ganges River is upsettingly sixth on our list of the most polluted river in the world. It is worshipped as “Ganga Mata”, the divine mother responsible for sustaining life and nurturing civilization throughout India’s history. It provides water resources to over half a billion people or 40% of India’s population. Despite these facts, an overwhelming amount of 1.2 billion pounds of plastics are still dumped here annually.

5thThe Hai River

Another one of China’s nastiest rivers, Hai River is the fourth on our list. It flows between two of the most densely-populated regions of China, Tianjin and Beijing, before emptying into the Bohai Sea.

4thThe Yellow River

China’s cradle of civilization, Yellow River is the third longest river in Asia, next to Yangtze and Yenisei. It’s also the sixth longest river in the world, flowing through nine of China’s provinces to the Bohai Sea. This river is almost beyond salvation because of undrinkable water and 30% of its fishes gone.

3rdThe Indus River

3rd on our list, the Indus River is the longest in Pakistan. Its basin is covering over 384,000 square miles of open land, 204,000 of which lie in Pakistan. It’s one of Asia’s largest rivers running through Pakistan and India to the Arabian Sea. Aside from plastics, this river’s pollution is also from the absurd amount of sewage wastes.

2ndYangtze River

Located yet again in China, the Yangtze River is the longest in Asia and third longest in the world. Its reputation is the 2nd worst on our list for flowing out a staggering amount of 1.5 million tons or 55% of the ocean’s plastics. Flowing through some of China’s most populated regions like Shanghai (22 million), Wuhan (9.8 million), and Chongqing (7.5 million), the river’s basin is a home for 480 million people or one-third of China’s population. Because of the highly-consumerist lifestyle of the Chinese populace, their waste management system can no longer keep up.

The Most Polluted River in the World – The Citarum River

And finally, the leader of this infamous list, the Citarum River, regarded as the most polluted river in the world. Located in Indonesia, flowing down a basin that is home to millions of people. Due to the increase in industrial development and almost zero waste management, the river is succumbed by domestic, chemical, industrial and numerous types of water pollution.

The fisherman that once depended on the clear waters of this river for their lively hood, now cast their nets not to catch fish, but instead, to catch certain garbage that might have a scrap value.The Citarum river has turned fishermen into garbage men.

Conclusion

Knowing from here how serious plastic pollution is, trust me when I say that we’re barely scratching the surface. The severity of the problem could come to a point of no return, we may not be able to win the life back in our oceans if we continue. Let’s stop creating tragic stories like the sperm whale incident or the sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck on its nostrils.

We can still do something about it. In fact, we have to do it now! Let’s actualize the rule of 5 Rs – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Repair – or just say “No” to Single-Use Plastic.

We can all be a little more responsible for the monstrous amount of trash we created. Here are 5 simple tips to Reduce Plastic Waste and you are more than welcome to join us on one of our beach cleanups at the Clean the Beach Boot Camp – first we train, then we clean!

Top 10 most plastic polluted rivers in the world (2019) | News by The Thaiger

Writer: Krix Luther

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World

The World’s 50 Best Foods… Thai massaman curry tops the list

Maya Taylor

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The World’s 50 Best Foods… Thai massaman curry tops the list | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Young Sok Yun on Flickr

The humble Thai massaman curry has topped a list of the World’s 50 Best Foods, compiled by the CNN Travel team. Thailand’s smooth coconut milk and potato-based curry (add meat, tofu or vegetables of your choice) comes in at Number 1, with 2 other popular Thai dishes also making it into the World’s Best food list.

The hot and spicy shrimp/prawn soup, Tom Yum Goong, comes in at Number 8, with papaya salad, aka somtam, in 46th place (mai phet please!) Tell us your favourite Thai dish, and why, in the comments section (below).

CNN Travel says its staff conducted extensive research on global cuisine to find the 50 best dishes ever created. Nice work if you can get it…

Italian pizza, Mexican chocolate, Japanese sushi, Chinese Peking duck, Penang Assam laksa, Malaysia and German Hamburger also top the delicious list.

Here’s what the writers had to say about the 3 Thai dishes that made the top taste grade…

First Place, Massaman curryEmphatically the king of curries, and perhaps the king of all foods. Spicy, coconutty, sweet and savoury. Even the packet sauce you buy from the supermarket can make the most delinquent of cooks look like a Michelin potential. Thankfully, someone invented rice, with which diners can mop up the last drizzles of curry sauce. “The Land of Smiles” isn’t just a marketing catch-line. It’s a result of being born in a land where the world’s most delicious food is sold on nearly every street corner.

Eighth Place, Tom Yum Kung

This best food Thai masterpiece teems with shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. Usually loaded with coconut milk and cream, the hearty soup unifies a host of favourite Thai tastes: sour, salty, spicy and sweet. Best of all is the price: cheap.

The World’s 50 Best Foods... Thai massaman curry tops the list | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Richard Lee on Flickr

46th Place, Som Tam/Papaya salad

To prepare Thailand’s most famous salad, pound garlic and chilies with a mortar and pestle. Toss in tamarind juice, fish sauce, peanuts, dried shrimp, tomatoes, lime juice, sugar cane paste, string beans and a handful of grated green papaya. Grab a side of sticky rice. Variations include those made with crab (som tam pu) and fermented fish sauce (som tam pla ra), but none matches the flavour and simple beauty of the original.

The World’s 50 Best Foods... Thai massaman curry tops the list | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: www.needpix.com

SOURCE: Thai Residents | CNN Travel

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Protests

K-Pop fans show their support for the young Thai protesters, donate 3 million+ baht

The Thaiger

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K-Pop fans show their support for the young Thai protesters, donate 3 million+ baht | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Fan-funded 'happy birthday' signs around Thailand's BTS and MRT station

Art meets politics again, this time with hundreds of thousands of K-Pop fans raising funds in support of the growing student protest movement in Thailand. So far they’ve raised more than 3 million baht (as of 10am this morning) but the amount is rising quickly as Thai and overseas K-Pop fans respond. The most popular band in Thailand at the moment is BTS, the South Korean septet which is currently the most popular band in the world (as of today BTS commands the Number 1 and Number 2 positions on the US Billboard singles chart).

BTS fans have so far been the largest contributors donating funds to the protest cause.

The BTS Thailand page, not to be confused with the BTS Skytrain, is urging K-pop fans to stop the practice of paying for billboards in support of their favourite idols and to celebrate the birthdays of the 7 members. RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook issued a statement on their fanpage asking fans to stop funding the BTS and MRT “inconvenienced protesters and normal citizens from getting home and putting them in danger”.

Bangkok’s two main rail systems were closed down over the weekend as police and protesters played a cat and mouse game. The protesters were withholding the announcement of protest locations to the last minute whilst police second-guessed their moves, ending up in mass inconvenience for the wider public in shutting down the entire network, including the Airport link.

“We’re calling Armys and other fans to stop buying ad projects with the BTS and MRT.” (“Army” is the name of BTS fans.

Fans of K-pop groups as well as other “idol” groups often pool their resources to purchase display ads in the MRT and BTS stations wishing their stars happy birthday or on other significant anniversaries.

It’s thought that many more millions of baht will be raised by the K-Pop fans in the next few days.

The young Thai protesters are tapping into a strong social media network, and have “weaponised” the social media and messaging platforms. The main App they are now using, to communicate their intentions, is “Telegram”, developed by a young Russian couple but now operating out of Germany. The App features encypted messages, impossible to track, and has 400 million monthly active users.

Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging, video telephony and voice over IP service with end-to-end encryption for secret chat only, whereas Cloud chat uses client-server/server-client encryption and its messages are stored encrypted in the Telegram Cloud – Wikipedia

Meanwhile, other K-Pop acts that have mobilised their fans win support include Girls’ Generation, GOT7, NCT, WannaOne, Nu’est, X1, Day 6, Red Velvet, MonstaC, Woodz, Shinee, Super Junior and R1se. We’re sure the fans of Black Pink are also contributing but didn’t have their figures available at the time of publishing. Fans of popular Thai actors and celebrities are also donating to the pool.

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Property

Thailand’s property market waits for an end to Covid-19

The Thaiger

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Thailand’s property market waits for an end to Covid-19 | The Thaiger

The Coronavirus outbreak poses challenges for Thailand’s property market as potential Chinese condominium buyers remain stranded in China. Meanwhile, some believe that the outbreak may bring opportunities for non-Chinese buyers and in the long-run, the Chinese may be looking for an overseas refuge in the event of these types of emergencies popping up again

Through all this, there will be a certain level of pent up demand for Thai real estate.

Of course, it’s not just the Chinese unable to come and inspect potential buys, the rest of the world is also mostly shut out of Thailand.

Market remains weak

The pandemic is hurting the condominium market as Chinese nationals were accounting for half of the international buyers in Thailand, or 57.6% of the total foreign condo owners in 2018.

Vichai Viratkapan, acting director-general of the Real Estate Information Centre says that 50% of Chinese condo transfers are expected to disappear in the first 2 quarters of this year and the total transfer value by the Chinese will miss the mark of the usual 29 billion baht by about 25% (around 7 billion).

However, since Chinese property buyers only make up 6% of the total international and domestic housing transfers in Thailand, the proportion of total housing transfers in the country is likely to be similar to last year.

Developers looking to sell current stock whilst shelving new projects

CBRE reports that most Thai developers are postponing the launch of new condo projects to focus on clearing existing stock.

“Discounting completed projects to generate quick revenue as a financial lifeboat is the best solution for many of the country’s larger developers whilst the market is in limbo.”

Rathawat Kuvijitrsuwan, head of CBRE Research and Consulting in Thailand believes that, now business is gradually recovering, a few developers have started to launch new condominium projects.

“In the first half of 2020, the Bangkok condominium landscape was gloomy with fewer than 10,000 condominium units launched, which was much lower than the total number of new launches in the past three years of more than 60,000 condominium units per year.”

The Chinese are reluctant to complete transfers

The virus has continued to affect hospitality operators, including hotels and condominiums that service tourists, nationwide. Since China has suspended tours, put restrictions on movement, and locked down cities, home to over millions of people, it also poses a threat to real estate developers as their clients are unable or unwilling to fly.

“Currently multiple off-plan condominium developments are approaching completion, and Chinese clients are unable or unwilling to transfer. Chinese clients who made a reservation in Q4 2019 are requesting a refund and withholding their investment,” said Marciano Bijmohun, Business Development Director at FazWaz Property Group.

He believes every condominium that is in transfer status will see the percentage of non-transfer units rise in the coming months.

“These non-transfer units will cause a big financial hit to developers.”

If a client refuses to transfer, does not comply with the terms and conditions stipulated in the sales and purchase agreement, and decides to release the property, their deposits will be forfeited.

“However, there is some good news, these non-transferred units can be offered with a discount to new clients.”

Also, as China has been susceptible to a few disease outbreaks – from bird flu to the current coronavirus – it may prompt Chinese buyers to look for second homes outside of China.

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