A British diver has captured shocking images of himself swimming through a sea of plastic rubbish off the coast of the Indonesian tourist resort of Bali.
A short video posted by diver Rich Horner shows Horner swimming through the mess for several minutes and also how the waste coagulated on the surface, mixing in with some organic matter to form a slick of floating rubbish.
It was shot at a dive site called Manta Point, a cleaning station for the large rays on the island of Nusa Penida, about 20km from the popular Indonesian holiday island of Bali.
Horner writes how the ocean currents had carried in a “lovely gift” of jellyfish and plankton, and also mounds and mounds of plastic. “Plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic cups, plastic sheets, plastic buckets, plastic sachets, plastic straws, plastic baskets, plastic bags, more plastic bags, plastic, plastic,” he says, “So much plastic!”
Rubbish has been inundating Bali for several months now, washing over mainly from the neighboring island of Java during the annual rainy, or “trash” season.
The plastic deluge also ends up in unsightly mounds on Bali’s beaches, horrifying tourists and environmentalists alike.
With poor government planning and low levels of awareness about waste and recycling, Indonesia is now the second-largest plastic polluter in the world after China.