Hong Kong beaches have been accumulating an insane amount of garbage in recent days and environmentalists are now calling for an immediate action for it to stop.
Coastlines of beaches, where children and other locals usually swim, are now littered with discarded plastic food containers, bottles and an assortment of other waste materials. Among the heaps of garbage, volunteers who are doing the clean-up efforts also found dead animals.
“Trash on the beach is nothing new in Hong Kong, but this is completely different to what we would normally see,” Gary Stokes, Southeast Asia Director at the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society told CNN.
The origins of the excessive trash pile, which Stokes call “unprecedented,” is quite difficult to identify. Stokes believes, however, that they may have originated from mainland China based on the labels and packaging of the litter.
“Most of the trash we normally find is local Hong Kong trash,” he said. “But this is definitely coming from the mainland.”
Stokes suggests taking photos or videos of the trash and check out the labels and packaging.
“Trash talks, if you’ve got a load of mainland trash on the beach, how did it get there? (The government) can go to China and say this is a solid fact, we have a problem, we need your help to address it.”
Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department released a statement warning residents that “due to the effects of rainfall, marine currents and southwest monsoon wind, more marine refuse would be found during summer than other seasons.”
Photos and videos showing garbage floating in the coasts surrounding the islands of Hong Kong, Cheng Chau and Lantau are now being uploaded and shared on social media.
According to EPD, the garbage that is now being collected is six to 10 times more than the amount usually found on Hong Kong beaches during the same season.“We suspect that the floods in mid-June in (mainland China) might have brought the refuse to the sea and then the refuse is brought to Hong Kong by the southwest monsoon wind and the sea currents,” the group said.
Authorities believe that the incredible volume of trash came from mainland dump sites and Hong Kong households whose wastes reportedly wash into the sea.
According to Southern District Councilor Paul Zimmerman, resolving the mess means a “coordinated government action on both sides of the border was needed and that while moves could be taken to catch the waste before it reached the beaches, trash on the sand is “a visual reminder for people that waste is a problem.”