Taiwan’s Tamshui River is 16th dirtiest river in the world

River takes 40 tons of mostly plastic trash to the ocean per day


The Tamshui River, photo courtesy of Lienyuan Lee. (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Tamshui River (淡水河) is the 16th dirtiest river in the world as it dumps 14,700 tons of mostly plastic trash into the ocean per year, according to The Ocean Cleanup foundation.

The organization, founded by Dutch engineering student Boyan Slat when he was just 20 years old, drew up a list of 40,000 rivers across the world which function as “vacuum cleaners,” drawing out garbage and pulling it out into oceans and seas.

Each year, between 1.15 million and 2.41 million tons of trash, in particular plastic, ends up at sea, with two thirds being carried there by the 20 dirtiest rivers.

The Tamshui River figures at No.16 on The Ocean Cleanup’s list, while three of the five filthiest rivers are located in China. The Yangzi (長江) stands at No.1, followed by India’s Ganges and another Chinese river, the Xijiang (西江). The Huangpu (黃浦江), formerly known as the Whampoa, and Nigeria’s Cross River round out the top-five.

The drawing up of a list was meant to improve the analysis of ocean pollution by plastic elements. The Ocean Cleanup foundation has put forward as its aim the cleaning up of half of what it calls the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” between Hawaii and California within five years.