Planet or Plastic | National Geographic Magazine: Plastic Waste and Global Warming

Spending time at this Bangladesh recycling center made me realize that plastic waste and global warming were companion threats. People’s need for clean drinking water increases as temperatures rise. The size of this center in Dhaka is equivalent to three football fields. In the winter when I made this photograph, only one of the football fields was filled with plastic waste. In the summer when everyone drinks more bottled water because of the excessive heat in a Bangladesh summer, all three football fields are filled with plastic waste. The slough next to this informal factory is filled with the overburden that is either shoved away or is blown by the wind into the neighboring watershed.