Washing machines among litter found in HK waters

October 23, 2015 11:12
Plastic and styrofoam containers, computer screens, electric fans, radio sets and even washing machines are regularly found along the shorelines of Hong Kong. Photo: Andy Ching / WWF-Hong Kong

Plastic comprises more than 60 percent of the litter found in the marine ecosystem, according to the latest survey by the Costal Watch Project under the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in Hong Kong.

Computer screens, electric fans, radio sets and even washing machines were also found along the shorelines in Hong Kong, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.

The level of pollution in Hong Kong waters is critical, the WFF said.

WWF staff were collecting litter in the sea area just outside the Aberdeen fish market on Thursday, and the rubbish they collected, mostly styrofoam boards and lunchboxes as well as plastic bottles, filled up a 70-liter rubber bin in less than 15 minutes.

Scuba divers were able to collect about 60 pieces of similar litter for each 100 meter transect of the sea.

The survey was done between July 2014 and May 2015 in 27 coastal sites considered of unique ecological value.

The data collected were classified into five types: ecological, land-based macro-debris and micro-debris, coastal floating litter and underwater litter.

The situation was found to be more serious at Island House in Tai Po, Sai Kung Little Palm Beach and Chi Ma Wan on Lantau Island.

According to Patrick Yeung, project manager of the Coastal Watch Project, fish bite marks were found on many pieces of plastic litter.

This means that the pollutants are being absorbed by marine animals and can find their way into the food chain.

The pollution will eventually damage the marine ecosystem, affect fishery resources and harm human health, the WWF said.

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