Diver takes a dip in Bali’s sea of plastic


Plastic, plastic everywhere.

Or that’s the impression you get from Rich Horner’s video shot March 3 in Bali’s Manta Point. Horner, who studied mechanical engineering at University of Brighton, went for a dive to take in the ocean’s wildlife, and instead he found plastic. A lot of it.

“Some plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic cups, plastic sheets, plastic buckets, plastic sachets, plastic straws, plastic baskets, plastic bags, more plastic bags, plastic, plastic, so much plastic!” Horner wrote in a Facebook post.

Manta Point, as the name might suggest, is a place where manta rays congregate for cleaning by smaller fish, which rely on the mantas for food.

“Surprise, surprise,” Horner wrote, “there weren’t many Mantas there at the cleaning station today… They mostly decided not to bother.”

Indeed, only a single manta ray is visible in Horner’s video, braving the plastic storm.

Most of the plastic, according to Horner, wasn’t single-use plastic, like bags or straws, but mostly “general plastic packaging, for packaging almost everything we buy in the shops/supermarket.”

The video dramatically calls attention to the ways plastic freely circulates in our oceans, but Horner hopes viewers see this as a symptom of an another issue: overpopulation.

“Reducing, reusing, recycling is obviously a way to help, but it’s always dwarfed by the root cause of all these issues, that the world is overpopulated by a factor of like 3 to 5 times. Having fewer kids is always the most environmentally friendly act any human can do at the moment.”

A 2017 study backs up Horner’s position, but doing something, including recycling, is better than do nothing at all.

Just ask that lonely manta ray.


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