5 Environmental Crimes That Are Taking a Toll On the Planet

Environmental crimes had gradually transformed into a worldwide problem, taking a lot of different forms. Some of them categorize as the most profitable criminal activities on the planet. Usually, the most common environmental crimes are related to the illegal exploitation of wild flora and fauna, waste disposal, and its trade as well as pollution.

Electronic waste

Statistics show that more than 50 million tonnes of electronic waste are dumped every year in developed countries. Electronic waste consists of appliances, mobile phones, TV sets, and computers. Specialists predict that a massive part of all these tonnes reaches to be illegally exported to India, China, and Africa. Furthermore, 75% of all this waste leaves the official circuit.

Experts indicate towards the existence of Ghana’s dump where massive amounts of electronic waste find their place. Most of them come from the West. In some place, the export of this type of waste is illegal. For instance, some of the electronic waste from EU reaches those remote places, causing soil pollution and water pollution.

Hence, we should act on this matter and demand governments to start some efficient recycling measures. If they adjust these measures to our consumption and production rate, they will avoid polluting landfills all over the world.

Wild animal traffic

The Interpol argues that wild animal traffic represents the third biggest illegal business in the world. The first two positions are occupied by arms and drug trafficking. The world’s biodiversity is in danger due to wild animal traffic. The number of consumers constantly rises as the supply and high prices never seize to increase, too. Numerous people are willing to pay good money for them on the black market.

Furthermore, another tragic fact about wild animal traffic is that the endangered species are the most expensive ones. Therefore, if someone is interested in buying an animal on the verge of extinction, they will need to pay a fortune for it. Generally, the species which are the most popular are tropical birds, arachnids, monkeys, and reptiles. In this way, buyers pay a lot of money on lemurs, chimpanzees, capuchins, tarantulas, macaws, parrots, crocodiles, serpents and other species.

Keep in mind the fact that this type of environmental crime does not only intends to sell these animals as company animals. Their purpose is also to sell rhinoceroses’ and elephants’ ivory on the black market. The ivory will further be used to develop traditional Chinese medicine or decoration items.

Massive piles of rubbish in water

A lot of companies and factories dump toxic waste into rivers, polluting water.

Dumping waste in water

Many power plants and companies use this practice, flushing water back into the river after they used it to cool down the engines. This practice is very common, and many companies are not even aware of the massive harm they cause, where hundreds of species in the river are in danger. When flushing back the water into the river, the water has a higher temperature than it initially had. Therefore, the warm water affects many ecosystems, killing some species.

Other companies dump toxic or fecal waste into the rivers. Even if this is supposed to happen in a controlled manner, sometimes mistakes may occur. Factories and companies are responsible for polluting many lakes aquifers and rivers.

This is a terrible crime since they do not only jeopardize the life of several species living in those lakes and rivers, but they also pollute the flora. The waste in the water can leak into the soil, being uncontrollably released there. When affecting the flora, it will also affect the food chain. Hence, factories and companies should implement sewage plants or sewage collectors to avoid this environmental crime.


Illegally cutting down trees is an environmental crime, being one of the main cause of deforestation. The largest rainforest in the world is slowly turning into a massive desert. The Brazilian government indicates that this luxurious rainforest indicated a 29% increase in deforestation in 2013. Hence, uncontrolled logging represents a massive threat to forests, jeopardizing the ecosystems and habitats of many species of animals and plants. The wood is used to develop furniture of the forests may be cut down to develop more farmlands.

Furthermore, the Indonesian forests are slowly degrading, and the number of trees is dropping due to the excessive palm oil cultivations. To annihilate these environmental crimes, we should avoid purchasing products which are manufactured due to extensive farming. We can prevent these disasters if we sign petitions and we support environmentalists who describe several animal extension occurrences.

Many animals and plants living in the deforested land are unable to adapt to new living conditions when migrating. Hence, this results in numerous endangered species. Some of these species only grow in the rainforest, and their number is scarce anyway.


Specialized ships capture a hundred million sharks on an annual basis. Furthermore, more than 70 million of these sharks are captured for their fins. After fishermen cut off their fins, they throw the sharks back into the ocean. Hence, this cruel practice causes a slow and very painful death for sharks. In 2003, the EU banned finning. However, in Asia, the finning trade is continuously rising. On the Asian market, a kilo of shark fin is 600 euros.

Many restaurants have several shark fin soup recipes, and they need shark fins to do it. Therefore, whenever dining at an Asian restaurant, think about where your food comes from. These creatures are mutilated and then thrown back into the water, being left to die. In this way, this disastrous behavior can lead to some shark species’ extension. They are in danger due to finning. The cruel people who take care of this job forget the fact that sharks are important creatures when it comes to the trophic chain.  The fins they have are extremely crucial to surviving.

Summing up

All these environmental crises contribute to the degrading state of our planet, affecting several food chains and ecosystems. Many species of animals and plants are in danger. Water pollution and soil pollution also affects humans, jeopardizing our state of health.

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William E. Eubanks

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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