A travelling couple has shared a heartbreaking photo of a famous 'pink sand' beach covered in rubbish just one year after they visited its pristine shores in 2018.
German-born Marie Fe and Australian-born Jake Snow spent time at Indonesia's famous Pink Beach in the Komodo National Park last year, snapping a beautiful photo of themselves lying back in the sand.
But just 12 months later their visit to the popular Instagram destination looked very different, with a similar snap showing plastic bottles, boxes and cups washed up on the beach beside them.
How much plastic is used around the world every year?
- It is estimated that more than $140 billion is spent on bottled water globally every year
- Australians are estimated to spend $385 million of that sum annually on bottled water
- Currently, only three per cent of plastic bags used in Australia are recycled
- Environmentalist groups claim Australians are using up to 10 million straws a day, about 3.5 billion a year
- Australian shoppers reportedly use 3.92 billion plastic bags each year - that's an average of 170 plastic bags per person a year
- In 2015, around 322 million tonnes of plastic was produced worldwide
- An estimated eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean every year
'Even the most secluded and untouched beauties of the world like this Pink Beach in the Komodo Islands are being drowned in plastic.
'We never imagined that upon return to our favourite beach in the world we would find such a disturbing scene. It really broke our hearts to see the amount of rubbish that had washed up on this once beautiful beach.'
They cautioned that this could be the future for other beaches if people continue to throw away single-use plastic at the rate that they are.
'If we donâ€™t act now, this will become a normality. Our beaches, our oceans and our world will be covered in plastic,' they said.
The couple, who are engaged, even cautioned photographers and other Instagram influencers from Photoshopping these kinds of snaps - insisting that this will simply serve to hide the true extent of the issue.
'Photoshopping the rubbish out wont fix the problem, showing the reality of what's going on will,' they wrote.
'How many beautiful places do you know that have become a plastic paradise?'
The couple then urged their followers to start 'refusing single use plastic', and to take a stand against businesses that still rely on it day to day.
The romantic and aptly named Pink Beach is one of just seven pink beaches on the planet.
This exceptional beach gets its striking colour from microscopic animals called Foraminifera, which produces a red pigment on the coral reefs.
Where are the dirtiest beaches in the world?
- 1. Kamilo Beach, Hawaii
- 2. Juhu Beach, Mumbai, India
- 3. Guanabara Bay Beaches, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- 4. Haina, Dominican Republic
- 5. Henderson Island, Pitcairn Islands Group, British Overseas Territories
When the tiny fragments of red coral combine with the white sands, this produces the soft pink colour that is visible along the shoreline.
A number of social media influencers have visited the special place, encouraging others to book a trip, but this rubbish is washed up from neighbouring islands rather than being left behind by travellers.
Western Australia is lucky enough to have two pink lakes for locals to behold, Lake Hillier and Hutt Lagoon.
They get their colouring from carotenoid-producing (coloured) algae, and so far, haven't been riddled by the same plastic problem. But that could change.
Australians alone spend $385 million each year on bottled water, use up to 10 million straws a day and 3.92 billion plastic bags each year.
The only way to curb the problem is to stop using plastic bottles, cups, straws and bags and instead opting for environmentally-friendly alternatives.