Plastic Around the World: Clean Beaches

We’re gunna be looking at some examples in this series of how plastic affects our environment.  Today we’ll be looking at Vietnam and the problems here with plastic pollution that washes up on the beach.

Clean Beaches in Vietnam

First of all, this post is probably gunna sound a bit like an origin story so apologies.  If you’ve been through the website you’ll know that we first came up with the idea of BAM when we were in Phu Quoc.  While we there trundling around, we decided to organise a boat trip to some of the smaller islands nearby.  As you can guess, they were beautiful.  I mean pristine. White sands, blue seas, the whole shebang.  When we got to Nail Island (Hòn Móng Tay) we decided to go for a ramble.  We wanted to explore what else there was on the island, you know?  Once we got behind the beach, it was absolute chaos. There were mountains and mountains of plastic and rubbish piled up at the back.

Reality

We asked our tour guide what was going on.  Every morning, people walk along the beach to collect the plastic pollution from the previous night.  Then, they just chuck it round the back where most tourists aren’t going to venture. It makes sense though, doesn’t it?  Keep the beaches clean so the tourists keep rolling in and chuck all the mess where it’s easiest to hide it. We’re not saying this is the same as the amazing cleanup operations that go on around the world.  Cleanups of beaches are brilliant. They stop any of the plastics that are cleaned up from breaking down into micro-plastics. They make sure that fewer animals are injured by the tonnes of waste that we can’t seem to stop producing.  

What Can You Do?

However, there’s definitely an element of fixing the symptoms and not the disease.  At the end of the day, you don’t put on a plaster when you’ve got a broken arm. We kinda feel that fixing the symptoms is a bit of a pointless task.  It’s more important to get people to stop using the bloody plastic that washes up.  Otherwise, plastic pollution isn’t going to change, in Vietnam or anywhere else.  If we can stop using plastic, or at least start reducing what we do, it’s gunna be a hell of an easier time with cleanups.  And you know what, it starts with us doesn’t it? We’ve got to stop buying plastic. We’ve got to stop accepting plastic. We’ve got to tell the people that are flooding our societies with the darned stuff to do one.  Then, we’ll be able to change the world. So have at it eh, cố lên.