About Plastic Pollution on a Maldivian Beach. March 2016
Reports and photos about plastic pollution can be seen everywhere in the media recently. Which is good. Because this disaster needs more public attention.
Some may ask -- for good reason -- if those reports are exaggerated. Here is my personal report, without any exaggerations.
Maldives are known for crystal clear waters, turquoise lagoons and blending white beaches. Photos with rubbish are hard to find. But every tourist knows that
there is rubbish. In my 15 years of holidays on different resorts in different atolls, I have seen a lot of rubbish that has washed ashore, because I get up
every day before the beach cleaners pick up every bit to preserve the picture of the unspoiled islands for their guests. But it hasn't been as bad as this time.
The island I visited this time has a small bay on the north side where rubbish could not be just carried around the normally round islands. This bay was like
a filter. I decided to pick up all rubbish I could find in this small 25 m long beach. This is easily done because the high tide leaves everything at the highest
point. I did this for 6 consecutive days, every morning before 6, right before the beach cleaners did their job. The pictures show the ocean's output of 24
hours. On just 25 m. In the middle of the Indian Ocean. Can you imagine the amount of debris that is floating in the ocean?
It would be easy to blame the Maldives. And for sure, some of my collection started its journey not far away. And there is no doubt that the Maldives have
a serious problem handling their rubbish. But the bottles from Japan, China and Borneo clearly show that this problem is a global problem.
Make a change. Don't litter, tell others not to do so, avoid plastics, change your attitude about plastics, make your government hear your voice, support
organisations who care and take action. As a tourist, bring back your rubbish.
The little 25 m long bay on the northern beach. All trash on the photos was only collected here.
Monday. The only day I made two collections. That's why there are two different piles of trash. On the left you see the line of trash that the last high tide brought to the beach.
Tuesday. The large bottle is definitely not from the Maldives.
Wednesday. I have no clue what the big black item is or was. But I know there is someone on this planet who throws diapers into the sea. Maybe 5,6,7 times a day?
Thursday. That bottle does not come from the Maldives. But the buoy did. Wasn't too long in the water obviously.
Friday. This bottle comes from Malaysia. And a giant fish box with fish bones.
Saturday. There was almost no wind in the past 24 h which led to fewer items.
Floating items. You see them everywhere. From the boat, while diving or snorkelling, on the beach ...
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