In addition to (illegally) heaping up near the shores of Suzhou’s Lake Tai, a sickening amount of trash has also recently washed up on the beaches of Hong Kong. Take a look:
The Environmental Protection Department suspects that floods last month in the mainland washed the trash along the Pearl River and into the sea. Then, winds and currents brought all that filth to Hong Kong. The department also told South China Morning Post that this is 6 to 10 times the usual amount of washed-up trash that they are used to seeing.
In a post on Facebook, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society notes that “everyone prefers to blame the neighbor,” and that a lot of the trash found on Hong Kong beaches comes from the city itself, with the brands and labels to prove it.
The society also notes that Wei Ling Ding Island, a nearby small island in Chinese waters, may be another part of the problem. A huge trash dump sits near the beach of the island. Gary Stokes, the director of the group, also observed:
The make-up of the trash is also alarming – there are so many clear plastic cups and bowls of exactly the same type, which would indicate it’s coming from one location. These aren’t from accidental run-off into the sea from random sources – this looks like illegal dumping.
Gasp! The organization also noted that usually Hong Kong’s beach trash is from the city itself, but much of the trash this time “has mainland brands and labels not found in Hong Kong.”
The map on Global Alert, an app that allows users to report trash sites, shows a large number of them in Hong Kong. Keep in mind that anyone is allowed to report a site, so it may not be entirely reliable.
In addition to the heaps of trash, volunteers have also seen dead animals—including three one-meter-long groupers and a sea turtle with plastic in its mouth and around its body.
CNN notes that last year, a report commissioned by the Hong Kong government declared that marine refuse “does not constitute a serious problem.” Looks like things have changed.
By Amy Yang
[Images via Facebook / Facebook / Facebook]