Chumphon is beautiful, with miles of golden beaches and wonderful places to eat great Thai food. However, the scourge of plastic and trash being dumped in rivers inland, is all too evident and eventually makes its way to the sea. The result can be seen in the to the right where the sea-line has come up to.
We were playing in the sea and after a while, decided to get involved. We gathered what we could from a length of the beach, forming a large pile to be taken away. As we were collecting, more and more people came out. There was even a school of kids out collecting, which is reassuring for cultural awareness reasons. We were out there for around 30-40 mins. The amount of polystyrene was astonishing.
We later went out for dinner just a little further up the beach and were horrified to discover that a trash berg had approached the shore line and dumped so much waste on to the beach, that it made the efforts of the days collecting look meaningless. The sheer volume being washed up is something i had not seen before, it made me want to cry. You can see in the pic below the trash littering the beach, and floating just beyond the break. As the waves broke we just saw a wall of trash as the whole thing floated north up the coast.
We got chatting to a guy who was helping out. He had been to Indonesia and advised it is significantly worse there, and he always helps out when he sees it.
Until real policy is put in place this issue will get worse and is predicted to be 10 times the issue within a very short space of time. Most of the people i know are already aware of the impact of dumping trash in our rivers and oceans, that being, it does not go away and creates issues of enormous proportions. Our culture has accepted it is wrong and we deal with it responsibly for the most part. I just hope the Asian communities can do the same, so that generations to come can not only enjoy the wonderful landscapes the countries have to offer but also maintain a healthy flow of tourists to share it with and provide a living.