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Meet the Golden Retriever Who is Cleaning Up China’s Polluted Rivers, One Plastic Bottle at a Time

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Instead of simply teaching his dog to “sit,” “shake,” or “roll over,” one environmentally conscious pet owner in China has trained his Golden Retriever to fetch trash from the eastern Jiangsu province’s polluted rivers.

When the dog is commanded to “retrieve,” it goes searching for plastic water bottles. The pooch reportedly collects around 20 to 30 bottles a day, and has removed more than 2000 items from the region’s waterways in the past decade.

According to a 2016 report by Public Radio International, China—along with Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam—is one of the world’s leading producers of plastic ocean waste.  Together, the five Asian nations contribute as much as 60 percent of the plastic waste that enters the world’s seas.

This statistic is staggering—but thanks to this persistent dog, we’re reminded that every little bit helps to make a difference.

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