These Photos Of Pulau Kapas Covered In Rubbish Will Break Your Heart

More than eight million metric tons of trash in the form of plastic pollutes the oceans yearly.

Cover image via Facebook/Mei Mei Chu

When we think of the seashores in Malaysia, images of sandy, jewel-blue beaches would usually come to mind

Pulau Kapas

Image via Geir Kristiansen/Getty Images

While these images flood the Internet, the truth remains a little skewed. A collection of photos taken at one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, Pulau Kapas, was recently posted on Facebook and it was far from beautiful.

The photos were posted on Facebook by a travel journalist, Mei Mei Chu.

She explained that the photos were taken when she visited Pulau Kapas in Terengganu some time in late December 2016 and was shocked to the see the amount of trash lining up the beach strip.

"I recently visited from one of the most pristine islands in Malaysia and was shocked to see the amount of trash washed ashore by the monsoon waves. The amount of trash was worrying - everything from plastic bottles to TVs and plastic egg cartons on the entire stretch of the beach," read the post.

The photos were a sad sight as the once clean island was just filled with all sorts of trash from plastic bottles, egg cartons to broken bits of Styrofoam now

Mei said that the most common form of trash found in Pulau Kapas is plastic.

Image via Facebook/ Mei Mei Chu

Broken Styrofoam bits.

Image via Facebook/Mei Mei Chu

"This represents a very minuscule amount of trash that is floating in the sea, all of which are produced by you, me and our neighbours every single day. We consume so much trash."

Mei explained that some of the trash comes from the ships and fishermen who throw their rubbish off the boats. She has even seen trash in the form of beer bottles, Thai and Vietnamese drinks and even medicine.

We couldn’t help but to choke a little at the sight of a turtle strangled to death by plastic fishing nets

"The beautiful turtle we found dead last June with plastic fishing nets around it."

Image via Facebook/Christophe Wauters

Pulau Kapas, June 2016

Image via Facebook/Christophe Wauters

"Just look at these photos - the damage is real, the death of wildlife is a direct impact of our trash. Come on guys, it’s really time we start caring. Stop ignoring that your trash isn't doing any harm," read the post.

Mei also commended the Selangor state government on their recent ban against plastic bag and polystyrene, urging the people to be more environmentally conscious and make wiser choices.

This year, my new year’s resolution is to consume less trash, especially plastic and styrofoam. ...and I implore you to join me on this mission - this year, change ONE shopping habit to reduce the amount of plastic you use. I’m not asking you to live waste-free, I’m saying let's start small and let that roll into something big and amazing," said Mei.

She made a few suggestions including the practice of switching from using plastic bottles and cups to glass bottles and paper cups.

Pulau Kapas is located about six kilometers east of Marang in Terengganu. The island is far less commercialiased and remains rather untouched compared to the more popular ones like Perhentian and Redang.

Image via Redang

How do you plan to reduce your usage of plastic items this year? Let us know in the comment section below!

The Selangor state government kick-started their Bebas Plastik campaign on 1 January:

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