I guess that we are all aware that our oceans are full of plastic. For me at least, this awareness was what I like to call an intellectual awareness that let me keep a kind of detected attitude to the problem – I knew it existed but it didn’t really affect my day to day life. Last weekend however, that changed. Me and my family went out to the beach and to my great surprise there was a wide belt of plastic trash topping the dunes, stretching the entire length of the beach. It had not been there the last time we went to this beach, just a few weeks earlier. It was clear that all that trash had been washed up by the latest typhoon. Seeing it like that, mounds of plastic bottles and discarded fishing gear where before there had just been driftwood and sea shells, really made me aware of the problem on a personal level. It impacted me much more than statistics and news reports could ever do. I took a bunch of photos and I’m posting them now in some kind of vague hope that my readers may also become truly aware of just how big a problem this is.

All of this plastic trash was washed up in the latest storm. Notice how a lot of it old water bottles. Since this is the west coast of Taiwan I can only guess that a lot of it is coming from China.