Most, if not all Malaysians are familiar with Malacca’s Padang Pasir Klebang, a.k.a. Klebang Sand Dunes. This picturesque location is a popular sight seeing destination and perfect for photo shoots and all those hipster Instagram shots. Located approximately 10-15 minutes away from Jonker Street by car, it’s easily accessible too.
In case you’re unsure about what we’re talking about, here are some photos:
Beautiful, right? The unblemished white sand stretching as far as the eye can see against the clear blue skies, it really looks like something out of a movie. You probably wouldn’t believe a place like this existed in Malaysia!
However, unbeknownst to many, this captivating location has its ugly side which we discovered over a weekend trip there. What’s beautiful in all the pictures people took of the sand dunes does not necessarily reflect the true condition of Klebang.
And by “ugly side”, we mean this:
Yes, these are photos taken from the Klebang beach itself. Not so pretty right?
Where is all this garbage coming from though? So much!
That is a lot of plastic waste. While there were some waste from the visitors, majority of the garbage you see here is believed to have washed up to shore from the ocean. Yes, that’s a lot of plastic in our ocean waters. In fact, according to The Star, 4.8 to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic were found in the ocean in 2010 alone; and Malaysia is actually one of the top 10 contributors of plastic in the ocean, alongside Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and more. Explains why there’s so much plastic on our Klebang beach, right?
But, where do all the plastic in the ocean come from?
Well, it comes from you and I.
Even if we don’t litter, every time we order a limau ais that comes with a straw or buy that bottle of mineral water from the kedai runcit, we’re encouraging the production of more and more plastic items. What’s more is, according to Eco Business, the reason so many Asian countries including Malaysia are contributing to plastic waste is because of our fast-growing economies but VERY POOR waste management systems.
Everyday we use plastic materials, they ultimately end up in the ocean. In fact, according to The Star, Malaysians use approximately 31 million straws a day! And that’s just straws!
So what can we do to stop this?
Easy! Stop using plastic materials! Also, don’t simply throw waste by the beach or into the sea lah.
No straws, no plastic bags, no dapau-ing food in plastic containers, no bottles, no plastic! And don’t for a second think that you can’t make a difference. Imagine if just 10 Malaysians decided to say no to straws each day, that’s approximately 70 straws saved from the ocean a week, and over 3,600 straws saved a year! The lesser the demand, the lesser the production! So do your part and avoid plastic materials as much as possible.
If not, beautiful beaches like Klebang beach and so forth may not be around that much longer. Sashimi may even be far too polluted (or extinct) to eat in the near future if we don’t start doing something now. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Say no to plastic, okay!