Irresponsible tourist-boat operators have been blamed for dumping their rubbish into the sea, resulting in a large amount of garbage being washed ashore onto one beach in particular in Pattaya and harming both tourism and the environment in Pattaya Bay more generally.
A large volume of garbage has reportedly been washing up on Cozy Beach, with plastic waste – mainly empty bottles and discarded cutlery items – seen littering both the beach and the sea.
Cozy Beach beach-bed hiring operator Uthai Pengphan yesterday said the garbage problem on his stretch of sand was not new, as rubbish washed up on the beach throughout the year.
However, at this time of year, when there is strong wind, more waste tends to find its way ashore.
“I suspect that this [extra] garbage is from the tourist boats, because the rubbish is tied up in big garbage bags. But when the rubbish bags float in the sea, the waves often break them open, causing smaller pieces of trash to float around Pattaya Bay,” Uthai explained.
“This garbage makes the beach dirty and unpleasant, so we have to collect it all day, every day, or else the tourists won’t come and we’ll have no income,” the beach-bed hirer added.
Garbage in the sea is an increasingly major problem for Thailand.
It is not only making the beaches dirty and harming tourism, but it is also the main cause of death for many aquatic animals, such as turtles and whales – and is generating many environmental problems.
According to Greenpeace, Thailand is ranked sixth on the list of countries that generate the largest amount of waste into the sea, leaking more than 1 million tonnes of waste into coastal waters a year.