Sometimes an incredible image is enough to focus public attention on the big-picture issues that often remain stuck in the backs of our minds.
Even people who tend to shrug off environmental and global problems will be struck by the sobering photos released by the Foundation for Deep Ecology and Population Media Center which show the devastating effect of the digital age.
The photos – part of a larger series in the book Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot – aim to raise awareness of the often unseen impact of our consumer culture.
While the Western world has sophisticated systems in place for things like the disposal of waste, less developed countries do not.
One picture shows a man surfing through a wave littered with rubbish in Java, where locals must dump garbage into local rivers and streams.
Other images show the people of Guatemala searching for scrap metal in contaminated water at the bottom of the biggest trash dump known as ‘the mine’ in order to eke out a living.
One author of the book, Tom Butler told Yahoo Makers: ‘We sought to present a range of images reflecting how the human demographic explosion—7.3 billion people and still growing by over 1.5 million every week—has diminished Earth’s richness and beauty, and contributed to so much misery among people.’