In the popular imagination, Australia is a pristine natural paradise unlike anywhere else in the world. In reality however, Australia is a notorious greenhouse emitter with a long history of polluting and poisoning the wealth of natural resources that surround us. This week, we take a look at five sobering facts about the state of pollution and it’s effects in Australia.
85% of Australian household put hazardous waste in the rubbish bin
Pharmaceutical drugs, batteries, fluro light bulbs, garden chemicals, oven cleaners are just a few examples of hazardous waste that gets sent to landfill.
The most polluted river in Australia is the King River in Tasmania
Mining operations have resulted in about 1.5 million tonnes of sulfidic tailings entering into the river each year up until 1995. Other contaminants in the rover include acidic and metal rich waters. These high levels of dissolved metal concentrations are extremely toxic to aquatic life.
5% of all deaths in Australia each year are caused by air pollution
Air pollution is also responsible for causing some 3,000 premature deaths each year, that’s more than the national annual road toll. It’s also estimated that 27,519 healthy years of life are lost by Australians every year due to air pollution.
More than 30% of agricultural land in Australia is considered ‘severely damaged’
This is due to rising salinity from over irrigation and deforestation. It costs Australia around $3.5 billion dollars a year in lost production.
No one really knows the scale of the hazardous waste problem in Australia
Inaccurate measurement and a lack of nationally consistent data and information makes it nearly impossible to understand what the scale of the hazardous waste problem in Australia.
Alpha Environmental are established environmental consultants based in Melbourne. To learn more about our capabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 9415 8002.