Through recycling schemes and the spread of information, global efforts are being undertaken to reduce rubbish and encourage reuse. When you’re dealing with a single household or an office’s worth of waste, it can be hard to imagine the sheer quantity of trash produced worldwide, and the majority of it ends up in landfill. The most common urban signs of pollution are poor air quality and occasional litter, but some places are knee-deep in obvious pollution.

Kanpur - India

most polluted cities

A heavily populated region of India, Kanpur is known for its leather tanneries, which pump out excessive quantities of smoke, polluting the air. The hospitals are overrun with patients suffering respiratory distress, and it isn’t even a temporary crisis, it’s just daily life. With clean energy, Kanpur would release far fewer pollutants into the air, and the city could begin to breathe easier.

Bamenda - Cameroon


The World Health Organisation judges air pollution by measuring the average quantity of particles suspended in the air. Bamenda has more than 10 times the recommended average, which is the main cause of respiratory problems in the city’s residents. The area used to be thick with plant life which would process carbon dioxide and provide oxygen, but deforestation has greatly reduced the area’s plant density. Bamenda is a city that has inherited the pollution of other locations instead of producing it itself.

Replanting trees and taking measures to coexist with the environment instead of allowing cities to overrun it will help places like Bamenda to recover.

Peshawar - Pakistan

Peshawar - Pakistan

The city of Peshawar in Pakistan has several water canals running through it. These, full of dumped waste, easily spread pollution throughout the city. Peshawar’s problem is poor infrastructure. Without a readily available system of rubbish disposal, waste builds up, and pollutes the city. Much of this could be recycled or reused.

Heavy traffic in the area is another big contributor to Peshawar’s poor air quality. Better transport infrastructure to reduce the numbers of cars on the roads would help reduce this city’s pollution problem.

These are just a few of the world’s most polluted regions. For the people in these locations, pollution isn’t a distant problem - it affects their daily life. Cartridges Direct makes efforts to reduce waste and the resultant pollution by recycling printer cartridges. Too many ink and toner cartridges end up in landfill when they could be returned to the manufacturer for refilling, or broken down to be turned into new products. Reducing pollution is the first step to a healthier world.