On his Blue Planet (Kék bolygó) podcast streamed on Monday, János Áder, Hungary’s former president, discussed the issue of plastic waste on the Tisza river with independent filmmaker and environmental activist Dimitry Ljasuk.
Áder said that Hungarian-Ukrainian director Ljasuk was an advocate fighting against human neglect over the environment created by waste. His documentary In the Name of the River Tisza won main prize at the International Nature Film Festival in Gödöllő last year, Áder noted.
Ljasuk said he had witnessed the problem of plastic pollution on the Tisza first in 2018 when he was shooting his first film. He then decided to be an activist and organised a campaign which collected one and a half tonnes of plastic waste from the river with the involvement of 60 volunteers.
“The areas cleaned every year become polluted again, because floods bring huge amounts of additional waste from the upper sections of the river from Ukraine and Romania,” the director said.
He said responsibility for the plastic waste pollution lay with three actors, namely people, corporations and the state. “People decide what they buy and where they throw the packaging. Companies have spread plastic packaging, with 20,000 plastic bottles being produced in every second today,” he said, noting that the state had the role to act as a regulator over the first two actors.
Áder noted that compared with the 2 million tonnes of plastic used in the 1960s globally, the amount of plastic used today was 400 million tonnes.