Kampf dem Müll

Fighting Agrotox & 
   
Plastic waste 

Latin America is drowning in his waste. For politicians, waste disposal is not an issue that can score points in the elections. This goes to the extent that, for example, when the capital Brasilia was being planned, a rubbish dump site was simply forgotten. Many citizens are also disrespectful when it comes to their rubbish collection and only realise the problem when the company goes on strike. Environmental education in schools is non-existent. Recycling in most countries only works in places where private initiatives have been set up.

For instance, in the fishing village of Campinhos, the Rio Pardo on one side and the ocean current on the other washing loads of plastic into the mangroves. There, determined women clean the mangroves and try to stem the flood of rubbish.

 

Brazil has a far more complex problem of waste management with its rivers. Numerous industries have settled along their courses - plantations or mines, for example. Pesticides, heavy metals and other toxins seep into the groundwater or are cheaply and improperly "parked" in retention basins. In times of climate change, such basins burst due to heavy rains, and toxic avalanches make their way into the rivers, poisoning lives for hundreds of kilometres. This is what happened in Brumadinho in 2019 and on the Rio Pardo in 2022.

 

On the island of Roatan, off the coast of Honduras, most people belong to the black minority. The central government in faraway Tegucigalpa hardly cared about this Caribbean island. Rubbish and sewage became more and more of a problem as tourism increased. A few local environmentalists took on the problem - and even defeated Coca Cola in the process.