Littering In China: A Surreal Epidemic

Nanjing Littering In China

Image Source: China Smack

Imagine a place where trash covers the streets like a thin blanket of dirty snow. With every step, you hear the crunch of a plastic bottle, and garbage floats through the air. Cars drive by, and more trash flies out their windows and onto the sidewalk. Trash cans sit on every corner, but the gentleman sitting next to you drops an empty cigarette pack onto the ground instead. This is modern urban China, where waste is abundant and littering has become the norm.

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This Is What Delhi, The World’s Most Polluted City Looks Like

Most Polluted City

Smog frequently blankets Delhi. Source: News East West

Beijing can rest easier for the moment, as it is no longer the most polluted city in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), that dubious honor goes to Delhi, India. It’s estimated that the city’s air pollution kills 10,500 people in the city every year.

The study analyzed the peak levels of fine particulate matter in the ambient (outside) air. It determined that the highest level of airborne particulate matter of PM2.5 (smaller than 2.5 microns) clocked in at 153 micrograms, which is significantly higher than any other city in the world. For example, Beijing, once considered one of the world’s most polluted cities, has a PM2.5 concentration of only 56 micrograms. Delhi’s level is six times the WHO’s recommended maximum and twelve times U.S. standards.

Here’s a glimpse at what that lethal atmosphere looks like:

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Most Polluted City Smog

View of Delhi through a nearly permanent haze. Source: New East West

Commuters Walking

Commuters travel to work in the thick smog of the morning. Source: Quartz

Trash Mountain

Delhi produces 9,000 tons of trash every day and has very few places to put it. However, 50% of the city’s waste is fit for composting, which could solve some of the storage issues. Source: Sebastian Chatelier

Most Polluted City Yamuna River Pollution

These aren’t soap bubbles; they’re industrial and residential waste particles. Source: Business Insider

Most Polluted City Yamuna River

Pollutants cause the Yamuna River to foam. Source: Daily Mail

Most Polluted City Yamuna River Offerings

The Yamuna is important to observant Hindus who make offerings in the river. The government has encouraged them to use biodegradable and natural materials that won’t harm the water. Source: Daily Mail

Most Polluted City Worker Churns Sludge

This man churns sewage for a living, and does so without proper protective equipment. Building an efficient sewage system can help improve the environment in the city and the livelihoods of its citizens. Source: University Of Texas

Public Water Supply Bathing

Many citizens share public water supplies. Source: Japan Times

Kathputli Slum

Source: ABC

Slum Dogs

Garbage heaps are a common sight in the Indian capital. Source: Vet Help Direct

Presidential Palace

The presidential palace is obscured by air pollution. The skies are cleaned up during the rainy season, but the dry winters keep the smog in place. Source: News East West

Most Polluted City Work In Progress

Construction leaves behind dusty fields that add more particulate matter to the air when they aren’t replanted. Source: Flickr

Most Polluted City Commuter Train

Commuters pack on top of a train outside of Delhi. India’s rising population makes it difficult to provide efficient transport, sanitary housing and clean water to all people, as it grows faster than the current infrastructure. Source: Quartz

Most Polluted City Traffic


Face Masks Students

Citizens wear masks in a futile attempt to protect themselves from air pollution. Source: Indian Express

Oorja Alternative

Alternative stoves are being introduced in an attempt to provide cleaner burning fuel and improve health. Source: The Better India

Indoor Biomass Stove

Biomass stoves contribute to greenhouse gas emissions because they produce carbon monoxide and methane. Source: Lowe Tech Magazine

Clean India Mission

Prime Minister Modi shows his constituents how to use a broom to help clean the streets as part of the Clean India Mission. Source: India Mission

Most Polluted City Yamuna River

A Hindu devotee says prayers in the polluted Yamuna River. Source: Quartz

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Alejandro Duran Turns Trash Into An Incredible Art Project

Toothbrushes Alejandro Duran

Source: Bored Panda

We must look no further than the nasty, thousand-mile-wide strip of decomposing plastic in the northern Pacific Ocean to know that our world is becoming more polluted. Yet artist Alejandro Duran doesn’t let this reality deter his creative process; rather, this reality incites it.

Rounding up oceanic debris found along Mexican coast lines, Duran upcycles it into art that’s anything but wasteful. Site-specific and color-driven, these pieces compose Washed Up, a refreshing project that begins with trash and ends with a beautiful, thought-provoking installation.

Lightbulbs Upcycled as Art

Source: Slip Talk

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