Photos by gabrielegalimbertiphoto / I recently photographed explorer Alex Bellini on the Nile River, as part of his "10 rivers 1 ocean" project, in which he's navigating the world's 10 most polluting rivers on a raft made of local scrap material. His idea is to retrace the path that plastic trash makes from river to sea, concluding at the Great Pacific Patch—the plastic island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Alex first sailed to China and India, arriving in Egypt for the third leg of his project. It's estimated that Egypt produces 5.4 million tons of plastic each year, making it the largest consumer of plastic in the Arab world. A recent WWF report noted that Egypt pours about 250,000 tons of plastic into the Mediterranean Sea annually. The Nile River alone carries over 70,000 tons to its mouth each year. The goal of the exploration is to raise awareness of our plastic use, with the hope of reducing its production and consumption and implementing better waste management.

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