A giant patch of floating rubbish and blooming water hyacinth has spread across a section of the Yangtze River, transforming the waterway into what appears to be a filthy park.

State broadcaster CCTV said the garbage patch started building up in the Chongqing section of the river following heavy rainfall in upper stream areas.

yangtze river pollution
Rubbish and water hyacinth spreads across the Yangtze River. Photo: CCTV news.

As rubbish was washed downstream following the rainstorms, warm, humid weather caused the rapid growth of water hyacinth, which trapped the rubbish.

CCTV said the patch currently measured some 10,000 square metres.

yangtze river pollution
Workers scoop the hyacinth plants from the river. Photo: CCTV news.

Local environmental authorities are cleaning up the blockage, but officials said the garbage belt could come back if rain hits the area again, CCTV said.

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Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.