Special report: Plastics ruining Indian Ocean beaches #OceanRescue

The amount of plastic on beaches around the world could be underestimated by up to 80%.

Those are the findings of new research carried out on the remote Cocos Keeling Islands.

Despite their isolated position in the Indian Ocean, tonnes of plastic waste is washed up on the shores – often from thousands of miles away in Australia, Indonesia and beyond.

Our South East Asia Correspondent Tom Rayner has this special report.

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Comment (122)

  1. spreading it via twitter @asiareportcom and onto site – spread the word people and help raise awareness to not litter with plastic. Greets to everyone from The Netherlands.

  2. yo my friend denzel is in this video, go follow him on instagram: @denzel_whichello
    also follow me cuz i post really inspiring plastic removal and stuff we live on this island
    my instagram here: @_jacquez_lacy_

  3. terrible just terrible, i myself pick up tonnes of trash when out walking but we need a massive change in how plastic is used and a lot of educating to even make any sort of real change

  4. Every little bit helps if everyone did their part, but if there are no recycling programs where ones live, at very least put the waste in the wastebasket in a religious way…

  5. We need to tell large companies that put all of our food and water in plastic, to Stop Making Plastic bottles, plastic wrap, and plastic storage bags. Also that stupid styrofoam that can't be recycled. Also tell toy companies to stop making plastic toys and go back to wooden toys, and and aluminum toys that can be recycled. We also need to start fining all these large fishing companies and independent fishermen when they leave all the nylon fishing line in the ocean and ocean sea life gets tangled up in the fishing lines. So sad! 🙁

  6. I hope that all of the employees of the companies that produce single use plastic know that they are directly murdering their future generations as well as life on this planet in exchange for short term profits.

  7. Its interesting how most comments on here blame the companies. If people were educated and chose to not use plastics then things will change…..but not fast enough!

  8. The problem is just as bad here on the west coast of United States. I often go to the beach and paddle in the ocean and I feel plastic everywhere. It's horrindeous by the docks of Long Beach. So much rubbish by the dock legs as well as the beach in general. I am horrified everytime I go there and do as much as I can to pick up the trash I see.

  9. It's so sad and the only way to stop it is to stop buying things in plastic. People can clean up the plastic but it is no use if more is going to be littered back into the ocean and washed back onto the beach. We must stop the root of the problem by stop using plastic products altogether

  10. In addition to humans being lazy and careless with their purchases and disposal of single use plastics, every hurricane, monsoon, flood, wind storm, tornado, and sinking cargo ship full of new plastic goods contributes to this global crisis. We need new containers to replace single use plastics. Instead of milk jugs, sell gallons in paper cartons made from various plant fibers or glass. For bottled water use glass or heavy reusable sports bottles and triple the price. Consumers will start to bring their own water with them. We need to return soda to glass bottles and cans only and increase the deposit to 25% of the price. We can take steps to reduce our consumption of single use plastics by going back in time. We managed perfectly well before plastics arrived. Over a billion tons of inorganic materials were washed out to sea by storms last year alone.

    We've taken everything for granted. We don't need soda, we don't need bottled water, we don't need plastic bags, we don't need packaging to be 50% larger than the contents inside. If it takes regulation and laws to reel in consumer and companies alike, then we need to take action now in order for things to change in 25 years due to court battles from companies fighting to keep their packaging larger than their competitions. Shrink wrap, six pack bands, plastic wrap, window packaging (not bubble wrap), candy bar wrappers, chip bags, foiled plastic, and other forms of cellophane type plastics are not recycled where I live. There are many other single use items I can't recycle. Luckily, I use very little prepackaged foods. I, like many others, avoid purchasing items with packaging that can't be recycled. This even included cardboard or paper with foil (shiny) lettering or logos. When I am forced to buy these items (toothpaste boxes and a few othersI can't think of), I soak it in water to release the foil and plastic coating on the paper. Then I compost the paper and throw away the rest. On average I have one 10 gallon bag of garbage a month. The rest is composted or recycled. I'd have less trash if more of the recyclables were allowed in my area. The recycling program has gotten better. I can't fault the local waste management. If they don't have a buyer for the recyclable item, they can't accept it.

    Change need to start with reducing and eventually ending the use of virgin plastics for the production of single use plastics. If manufacturers were required to use 50% recycled plastics,there would be a demand for our recyclables. Instead manufacturers use virgin plastics because it's slightly cheaper than purchasing recycled plastic pellets because oil is so cheap right now. They can blend the two plastics or use the recycled pellets and still get the same exact product. However, their billions in record profits every year means more to the handful of shareholder than the environment they're leaving to their heirs. As it is now the US ships out over 90% of our recycling to Asian countries. At least we have a recycling system in place. Developing countries not only lack recycling systems, but lack the education needed to inform their people the plastics they throw in the river is killing the wildlife, all marine life. And plastic doesn't dissolve, decompose, or sink as many think. Not because they're stupid. It's because plastics are new to developing countries. They need to be shown how plastic particles are entering their own bloodstream from seafood they consume. Yes, plastic particles are found in nearly all seafood and kelp.

    It's devastating to see what plastics is doing to our planet. Plastics are in our drinking water. It's in our fish and seafood. Not just the stomachs of seafood and game birds, but in their flesh. It's staggering to see. We must sweep for plastics after storm and floods the same way we clean up oil spills.

    Cheers!

  11. I leave in a Apts complex that we only have trash containers, I have being recycling for years now, is not that difficult to get all together and just go to recycling center, I go about 2 times a months to do this.

  12. as if no one in our beautiful planet called earth had the mental capabilty to make plastics and other things biodegradable, i mean they were able to make vehicles to explore the moon and a whole bunch of other things but when it comes about protecting our precious home, our planet, just nobody can do it, how sad and regrettable that really is.

  13. Actually… Plastics is the by product of the bigger and more lucrative industry, oil and gas. Anyone who still supporting fossil fuel responsible and answerable for each plastics waste anywhere in the world. Whether on the beaches or in ditches!

  14. Maldives, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia, Malaysia… Surprisingly absolutely nothing from such a big polluter like Australia! They've either secretly solved the ocean plastic problem or they don't know that they and pretty much every first world country ships their "recyclables" to China, Thailand and the like. Per capita pollution by even a packaging-crazy Asian country like Japan is a fraction of what the Aussies, Brits and Americans do. Even us Chileans pollute more than the countries named in this documentary. At least we don't export our pollutants to them.

  15. We have the same problem in Boracay Philippines but the new government are making a big decision to minimize the tourist so that we can have a clean Boracay again for the next generation..

  16. Doesn't anyone care about our planet? We just throw trash on the ground like we don't care. Our animals eat the trash that we throw and die. If we keep doing this, all our animals will die. Whenever I watch this kind of videos, I cry…

  17. Can this report be translated into all languages and shared around Eurasia?

    So many people and cultures are ignorant to just how interconnected we all are. Your plastic trash today will be tomorrow’s seafood dinner. Yum 😵

  18. How come this isn’t national wide, smh. I’m 26 and barley found out about the plastic issue we have world wide. I wish it was sooner. But I been making little changes everyday:)

  19. Why arent states putting deposits on all plastic bottles,like we do with pop bottles? Youll never see any pop bottles anywhere on the ground or on our beaches.

  20. One of the many things wrong with mankind is that we come up with an answer and create a new problem. Our whole way of living and thinking has to change if we want save this this planet, we need to stop raising animals for human consumption and stop using oil-based products.

  21. From all the plastic we consume.. Plastic bottles and bags are the easiest to just stop using. And it’d make such a big difference in the world but we have to all come together and do it. Otherwise the next generation will suffer the consequences.

  22. Corporate consumerism constantly creating recurring products this is how they grow into multi billion empires . perhaps they are equally responsible for this humongous disaster . and should recycle the stuff they push !

  23. It is time we stop single-use plastic utensils, I always want the owner to hire highly for plastic products. It is really too dangerous. to allow natural products to have a path of life such as products from bamboo or wood. Our forests are completely planted and regenerated, providing space for creatures and at the same time protecting the environment.
    [email protected]bamboovietnam.info

  24. It's the Indian Ocean. So I don't really care. Yes eventually it will be on every coastline. But it can't be stopped. Human nature is powered by greed for money, and power. Which doesn't care about the destruction of the planet, or any of the life on it. This video will be completely insignificant 100 years from now

  25. Governments around the world should send all the military guys to clean these infected areas instead of having fun and doing nothing in the camps…Students around the world must go once a week to clean their areas as part of their education process not just talking bla…bla…and playing with cell phones days in days out …

  26. It's a government fold. just change the Constitution and Rule of law /////////////////////////charge the business men's who's breaking rules and don't care about the future generation///////

  27. Cigarettes were cheap, and even though we knew they would destroy us, we smoked them anyway. Plastic is the same. Plastic to the planet is like cigarettes to the body. What eradicated cigarettes was the taxes put on them and the legal suits against the companies that produced them. Tax the hell out of plastic and use the money to make better products. People follow the money. Make it expensive and people do not use it. It is that simple. Tax it. Tax it. Tax it. And use the money to dredge the planet of this toxic substance. If we do not, the planet will get sick and die.

  28. Blame India and the Asian countries that pollute the rivers that lead to oceans. India is major polluter of the ocean because of the garbage they throw into the rivers everyday. They even put chemicals into the river from their textile companys.

  29. Guys plastics are choking us and are seafood. It is detrimental to the seafood, and to our bodies! In my new video series called "Plastics and Your Health" I discuss what is going on in our bodies, but more important I discuss ways to lower your exposure!

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