Flowing 1,560 miles from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, the Ganges River, locally known as Ganga, is one of the world’s greatest, longest and most polluted waterways in the world. On its journey from the mountains to the sea, the sacred river — considered by Hindus to be the personification of the goddess Ganga — collects untreated sewage, trash and an estimated 1.2 billion pounds of discarded soft and hard plastic each year. The staggering pollution earns the Ganges the dubious honor of being among ten rivers in Asia and Africa that transport 93 percent of the river-based plastics deposited into Earth’s ocean.

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