Boracay Just Reopened And Tourists Are Already Dumping Their Garbage On The Island

The island was previously closed for a massive six-month cleanup.

Cover image via The Straits Times

Following a six-month closure, Boracay finally reopened to the public on Friday, 26 October – attracting more than 6,000 tourists over the weekend alone

In April, President Rodrigo Duterte described the island as a "cesspool".

He added that businesses, hotels, and restaurants had been dumping their waste and destroying the island's clean waters and pristine white sandy beaches.

As a result, the island was shut from tourists for six months so that it could recover.

Image via CNN

Before the island reopened, new rules were set in place:

- Beach parties, smoking, and drinking are now banned,
- Vendors, masseuses, fire dancers, and water sports are not allowed on the beaches anymore,
- Moored boats that used to be fixed on the waters for years were forced to move elsewhere, and
- A maximum of 19,000 visitors are allowed on the island daily.

During the six-month closure, authorities also removed illegal sewage pipes and closed and demolished unregistered hotels. However, work is still ongoing.

Unfortunately, piles of garbage have been found littered around the island within a week of the island's reopening

Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) posted an image on Twitter showing plastic bottles and wrappers retrieved from a rock crevice the day after Boracay was reopened.

The caption read, "Is this #responsibletourism?"

A pile of garbage seen in Boracay on 27 October.

Image via AFP
Image via Rappler

Despite extra garbage bins provided and reminders to visitors about not littering, people had still thrown rubbish along the beaches

Paper cups, plastic straws, cigarette butts, and plastic bags were found scattered around the island.

Image via The Rappler

DENR replied to a user's comment on its post saying that it plans to "install [high-resolution] CCTV cameras" in public spaces in Boracay to catch littering guests.

We wonder if Philippines might consider banning single-use plastics in the future like the Malaysian government intends.

Maya Beach in Thailand was also recently closed indefinitely to help the island recover from tourist pollution:

We hope Malaysians were not the cause of it, like in this case:

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