Watch: Guatemalan river harbours 3% of the world's plastic waste

Guatemala's Rio Motagua contains three per cent of the world's plastic pollution. Garbage collection is nonexistent in most of the country.

The 426-kilometre-long river is covered in plastic. For several decades, the green hills north of the capital have given way to mounds of garbage.

The head of a local NGO wants to change this. With the help of another association, he installed a floating barrier in the middle of the river in June. It is capable of capturing some of the waste before it reaches the ocean. On some days, it reaches over 400 metric tonnes.

"It makes me sad that we don't understand that we are part of nature. We have to take care of it. We need to make people aware of this problem" said Mario Zea, the managing director of BiosferaGT.