In just two photos, one couple have demonstrated the very real and devasting effects single-use plastics can have on the environment.
Travelling couple Marie Fe, 29, and Jake Snow, 27, recently recreated a holiday photo while visiting Indonesia’s famous Pink Beach on Komodo Island just one year after their original snap – only this time, the once pristine stretch of pastel sand is quilted in trash and debris.
The high-profile couple, who have more than 478,000 followers on their joint Instagram account @mariefeandjakesnow, were moved to post the two photos side-by-side on Earth Day, April 22, to raise awareness about the “heart-breaking” consequences of single-use plastics.
“These two photos were taken in exactly the same spot one year apart from each other,” the caption begins.
“Even the most secluded and untouched beauties of the world like this Pink Beach in the Komodo Islands are being drowned in plastic!
“We never imagined that upon return to our favourite beach in the world we would find such a disturbing scene! It really broke our hearts to see the amount of rubbish that had washed up on this once beautiful beach.
In the post, the couple also call out Instagrammers who photoshop destinations.
“Photoshopping the rubbish out wont [sic] fix the problem, showing the reality of what’s going on, will!
The eco-conscious duo then pleaded with their followers to ditch single-use plastic and to speak out against businesses who still use them.
Indonesia’s Pink Beach is one of only seven pink beaches in the world, with the sand getting its unique pink hue from a blend of white sand and red sand formed from Foraminifera organisms.
Komodo National Park is a Unesco heritage site, boasting some of the world’s best dive sites, but unsustainable tourism practises and illegal fishing has taken a harsh toll on the region.