Bolivian city famous for its carnival announces emergency action to clean up a major environmental disaster on lake that has become a ‘sea of plastic’

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The city of Oruro, a major mining and tourist center with a World Heritage carnival celebration, is responding to videos showing Lake Uru Uru chock-full of plastic waste, which has resulted from urban dwellers dumping their trash into drainage canals.

Mayor David Choque announced a major clean-up of the lake on April 8–9 with the participation of a recycling firm, and asked the country’s environmental ministry to participate by providing logistics assistance.

The situation of the lake caused alarm when the environmental devastation on some 25 acres of the lake’s edge showed it mostly solid with plastic containers and the lake as a whole covered with garbage and mining residue contamination that includes arsenic and heavy metals.

By Milan Sime Martinic