2018 Photo Contest, Environment, 1st prize



Kadir van Lohuizen

26 May, 2016

A barge with more than 300 tonnes of mainly plastic is on its way from the Bronx to a recycling plant in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Until the mid-1990s, New York’s primary method of disposing of waste was to dump it at sea.

Humans are producing more waste than ever before. According to research by the World Bank, the world generates 3.5 million tonnes of solid waste a day, ten times the amount of a century ago. Rising population numbers and increasing economic prosperity fuel the growth, and as countries become richer, the composition of their waste changes to include more packaging, electronic components and broken appliances, and less organic matter. Landfills and waste dumps are filling up, and the World Economic Forum reports that by 2050 there will be so much plastic floating in the world’s oceans that it will outweigh the fish. A documentation of waste management systems in metropolises across the world investigates how different societies manage—or mismanage—their waste.

About the photographer

Kadir van Lohuizen

In the following years he worked in many conflict areas in Africa, such as Angola, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Liberia and the DR of Congo. From 1990 to 1994 he covered the transit...

Technical information

Focal length
22.0 mm

This image is collected in