Brazil’s new government takes aim at sea trash


‘Ghost nets’ take big toll on marine life. (World Animal Protection/Marcus Davis)

Since Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro took office on Jan. 1, green advocates have looked on with dread as his right-wing administration has begun to act on an agenda seen as hostile to environmental protection. That’s why they have found themselves pleasantly surprised by the government’s recent launch of a campaign to rein in ocean trash. The four-year “Marine Debris” initiative, largely planned by the previous government but launched on March 22 by Brazil’s Environment Ministry, targets the trash generated by all 274 municipalities located along Brazil’s 5,270-mile (8,481-km) southern Atlantic coast. Cities produce an estimated 80% of the two million tons of trash Brazil sends seaward every year, according to an association of private Brazilian waste-management firms. The Environment Ministry says Petrobras, the state oil company, has agreed to put up R$40 million (US$10.2 million) in seed money for the initiative. Contributions also... [Log in to read more]

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