World

Waste waters: Plastic rubbish chokes Bali's sea

8 March 2018 - 42   - 0

Millions of tourists are drawn to Bali's palm-fringed scenery and rich marine life, but there is a danger lurking beneath its famously crystal-clear waters: a wasteland of plastic rubbish.

An underwater video shot by British diver Rich Horner this week showing a sea overflowing with plastic and other garbage at Manta Point, a well-known diving site near Bali's main island, has highlighted trouble in paradise.

The holiday island has become an embarrassing poster child for Indonesia's trash crisis.

The problem has grown so bad that officials in Bali last year declared a "garbage emergency" across a six-kilometre stretch of coast that included popular beaches Jimbaran, Kuta and Seminyak.

"The ocean currents brought us in a lovely gift of a slick of jellyfish, plankton, leaves, branches, fronds, sticks, etc.... Oh, and some plastic," the diver wrote on his Facebook account.

 

His video, which has been viewed more than a million times, shows a diver swimming through a torrent of rubbish -- including bottles, cups and straws -- at Manta Point about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Bali's main island.

"Plastic bags, more plastic bags, plastic, plastic, so much plastic!" Horner said.

Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, is the world's second biggest contributor to marine debris after China, and a colossal 1.29 million metric tons is estimated to be produced annually by the Southeast Asian nation.

Bali last year declared a "garbage emergency" across a six-kilometre stretch of coast that included popular beaches Jimbaran, Seminyak and Kuta, where authorities used heavy equipment to clear plastic trash from the beach

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