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Tide of plastic rubbish discovered floating off idyllic Caribbean island coastline

Images show cutlery, bags, bottles and wrapping floating among seaweed

Tom Embury-Dennis
Wednesday 06 December 2017 14:15 GMT
Tide of plastic rubbish discovered floating off idyllic Caribbean island coastline

Shocking images have captured a Caribbean island’s clear blue seas being choked by a tide of plastic rubbish.

Taken off the Honduran island of Roatan, the pictures show plastic cutlery, bags, bottles and wrapping floating among seaweed.

One picture, taken from below the waterline, shows the sun being blocked out by the sheer weight of the pollution dumped into the ocean.

Blue Planet Society, a pressure group which campaigns to save the world’s oceans, had suggested the plastic may have originated from the Montagua river in Guatemala.

Recent footage captured a torrent of waste being carried out to sea from its mouth.

Caroline Power, who lives on Roatan, which is just 12 miles long and three miles wide, shared the images on social media to raise awareness of the problem.

She said it should make people think carefully about their plastic use.

“Think about your daily lives," she wrote in a Facebook post. "How did you take your food to go last time you ate out? How was your last street food served? Chances are it was Styrofoam and served with a plastic fork and then put in a plastic bag."

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“Do you still use plastic garbage bags? Plastic soda bottles? Zip lock bags? Plastic wrap on your food? Do you buy toilet paper that comes wrapped in plastic instead of paper? Do you put your fruit and vegetables in produce bags at the grocery?"

Challenging everyone to put keep their rubbish for a week, she said people would be “disgusted” at how much plastic they would find.

Image of the tide of plastic taken from below the waterline (Caroline Power Photography)
Close-up shows plastic knives and forks in among the rubbish (Caroline Power Photography)

More than eight million tonnes of plastic goes into the oceans every year, and it is estimated there will be more of it than fish by 2050.

It is thought our seas now contain about 51 trillion microplastic particles – 500 times more than stars in our galaxy.

This pollution is harming more than 600 species worldwide amid what many are now regarding as the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth.

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