Pollution is not a problem of the 21st century, it’s the problem which screamed attention in the 21st century.
Pollution is a problem which started with the invention of the wheel. I am saying this because pollution and human kind’s evolution are interconnected. If one is interested in history, one can remember from the stories about the stinky shores of the Tiber and the insanitary cities from the Middle Ages. The difference between then and now is the fact that we learned to cure or we became immune at the disease caused by the insalubrity.
People were no particularly interested by their surrounding for centuries. Most of the time the urgent necessity had to be satisfied by all possible means. Only later we realized that our actions have consequences.Back in the day those consequnces were horendous epidemics which decimated the people, today those consequences are the contamination of water, soil, air. This contamination can have devastating consequences for the planet, and we can take as an example the global warming. Global warming does not only meits the ice cap which rises the level of the ocens and seas, it also changes the climate of the Earth.
One important thing people realised in the 21st century (or a bit earlier) is that we have to think of the future when dealing with waste of any sort. We learned that is important to think about our legagy for the future generations and do everything we can to improve the life on Earth.