Travel bloggers share 'disturbing' photo of famous 'pink sand' beach covered in rubbish

'We never imagined we would find such a disturbing scene'

Sarah Young
Tuesday 30 April 2019 10:37
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Plastic litter in oceans has significantly increased since 1990s study says

The Pink Beach in Komodo National Park is one of Indonesia’s most popular tourist destinations thanks to its rose-tinted sand dunes and crystal-clear waters.

But, as a travel blogging couple have revealed, the growing number of visitors is having a devastating impact on the tourist destination.

German-born Marie Fe and Australian-born Jake Snow spent time at Indonesia’s Pink Beach in 2018 and shared a striking photo of themselves lying on the sand on Instagram at the time.

Just one year later, the couple returned to the popular destination only to find that the beach was littered with rubbish.

To expose the devastating impact plastic pollution is having on the spot, the couple replicated their original photograph, only this time they were surrounded by washed up bottles, boxes and cups.

“These two photos were taken in exactly the same spot one year apart from each other,” Fe and Snow explained in an Instagram caption of the photos, posted on 22 April.

“Even the most secluded and untouched beauties of the world like this Pink Beach in the Komodo Islands are being drowned in plastic!

“We never imagined that upon return to our favourite beach in the world we would find such a disturbing scene! It really broke our hearts to see the amount of rubbish that had washed up on this once beautiful beach.”

The couple went on to caution their followers that other beaches could face the same fate if people continue to dispose of single-use plastic so flippantly.

“If we don’t act now, this will become a normality! Our beaches our oceans and our world will be covered in plastic,” they added.

Fe and Snow also warned other Instagram influencers about the danger of editing these kinds of photos, explaining that it will simply serve to conceal the true extent of the issue.

“Photoshopping the rubbish out won’t fix the problem, showing the reality of what’s going on, will!”

As a result of their discovery, the couple have launched the hashtag #plasticparadise with the hopes that it will bring about pressure and lead to change.

“JOIN THE MOVEMENT, use #plasticparadise when you see a problem, share this post, refuse single use plastic and go one step further by letting businesses that still use them know that you don’t support it by verbalising your stance!”

While it is difficult to identify exactly how much plastic is in the ocean due to micro-particles and the amount that has sunk to the bottom, most scientists estimate that eight million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans each year - adding to the estimated 150 million metric tons already circulating our oceans.

The Foresight Future of the Sea report has estimated that the amount of plastic in the world’s oceans is set to treble in a decade unless action is taken to deal with the problem.

“Plastic pollution is one of the greatest threats facing our oceans, with items ranging from whole plastic bottles to tiny microplastics being found in seas all around the world,” Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, previously told The Independent.

“If strong action isn’t taken now, the problem will get exponentially worse. More research is needed on the many different facets of plastic pollution, but it is already clear that we must end our relationship with throwaway plastic and find alternative packaging solutions which won’t harm our environment."

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