Tags: plastic rubbish | bali | marine life | threat

Sea of Rubbish Off Bali a Plastic Threat to Marine Life

Image: Sea of Rubbish Off Bali a Plastic Threat to Marine Life

Rubbish collectors use heavy equipment to clear plastic trash on Kuta beach near Denpasar, on Indonesia's tourist island of Bali. (Bagus Saragih/SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 06 March 2018 09:54 AM

A sea of rubbish growing off Bali – plastic bottles, food wrappers, toys, bags and other waste – carried by water currents from the Indonesian vacation island has been called a growing threat to marine life.

A video by British diver Rich Horner documented floating mounds of plastic rubbish off Bali's coast, The Guardian reported. The footage was taken at a dive site at Manta Point, on the island of Nusa Penida, about 12 miles from Bali.

"Plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic cups, plastic sheets, plastic buckets, plastic sachets, plastic straws, plastic baskets, plastic bags, more plastic bags, plastic, plastic," Horner said in a Facebook post about his video which has been viewed more than 790,000 times.

"We see a few clouds of plastic and random plastic all the time during wet season, sadly. We may see the odd few big rafts/slicks per wet season, but I've never seen one anything like on this scale," Horner said.

According to the Bali-based nonprofit Rivers, Oceans, Lakes and Ecology (ROLE) Foundation, Indonesia produces about 130,000 tons of plastic and solid waste every day, with about half of that reaching landfill sites, The Guardian said. The rest is either illegally burned or dumped in Indonesia's rivers and oceans.

The Telegraph reported that plastic debris is seen as a particular threat to some whales and fish such as manta rays because it can enter the food chain once filter feeders swallow huge mouthfuls of water, intending to sieve tiny prey such as plankton.

"Plastic doesn't really breakdown, much that it just breaks apart into smaller and smaller pieces... becoming 'Microplastics,'" Horner said. "As with all the plastic in the ocean, it becomes coated in yummy algae that fish, turtles, etc., etc. love to eat. So these small/tiny pieces of plastic will be eaten even more, entering the food chain, along with the toxins they contain and have absorbed."

David Attenborough, in his recent Blue Planet II TV series, said that from 10 and 20 million tons of plastic are dumped into the world's oceans each year, threatening to turn seas into a "toxic soup."

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A sea of rubbish growing off Bali – plastic bottles, food wrappers, toys, bags and other waste – carried by water currents from the Indonesian vacation island has been called a growing threat to marine life.
plastic rubbish, bali, marine life, threat
351
2018-54-06
Tuesday, 06 March 2018 09:54 AM
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