Tropical Paradise Turned Into a Dump, As Waves of Plastic Continue to Roll In

Plastic emergency in the Dominican Republic highlights urgency of phasing out single-use plastic

A former Caribbean tourist destination is now a dump after a tropical storm flooded its beaches with over a thousand tons of plastic.

Known for its sandy white beaches and turquoise blue waters, Montesinos Beach in the Dominican Republic’s capital city Santo Domingo is now covered in plastic bottles and styrofoam takeout boxes:

The environmental non-profit Parley for the Oceans has helped locals remove over a thousand tons of plastic over the last three weeks, but there is still more work to be done.

The organization is transforming a portion of the recovered plastic into Ocean Plastic® – a material used to create products like these Adidas shoes that create awareness and fund the campaign against ocean plastic.

This is not the first time plastic has piled up on the shores of Santo Domingo.

“This situation happens every time it rains heavily, that’s why it’s important to shine a light on what has been ignored,” says Parley’s Carmen Danae Chamorro in a press release.

The phenomenon is not confined to the Dominican Republic, Parley’s founder Cyrill Gutsch told the New York Times. It can be seen in many developing nations with a coastline.

“Everybody uses the rivers and the beaches as dump sites.”

From there, plastic washes into the ocean, and then the ocean spits a portion of it back onto shorelines during storms.

Parley for the Oceans argues recycling is only a bandaid and advocates phasing out single-use plastic altogether.

“In the past we sent postcards with magical beaches and palm trees,” Parley’s founder Cyrill Gutsch added. “Now, it’s waves of plastic trash. Unless we all act now, future generaions won’t even believe the postcard scenes ever existed. We are calling for a Material Revolution – plastic has to go.”

Santo Domingo


6 responses to “Tropical Paradise Turned Into a Dump, As Waves of Plastic Continue to Roll In”

  1. Tom petrik Avatar
    Tom petrik

    Happens after a heavy rain? Everybody uses the rivers and beaches as a dump site? That’s not a plastics problem, that’s a human being a slob problem. This just proved the DR can be just as slobs as Vietnam ham with their river of trash flowing into the ocean instead of handling it themselves.

    In the past month we learned that Asia and then Africa are the worst at this. Then comes the nations of the EU before the USA.

    But stop blaming the plastics. They can be recycled. It’s the people too lazy to do it that deserve the blame.

    1. Sara Burrows Avatar

      Most plastic we recycle ends up in the dump because there is more plastic waste than the market wants to recycle. China is now refusing our recycling because there’s just too much of it.

      1. rob Avatar

        Plastic doesn’t recycle indefinitely. It basically is re-used as a less and less recyclable product until the only option is to throw it away. Aluminum, glass, etc. can be recycled over and over into the same products; plastic is always on it’s way to the landfill.

  2. me Avatar

    what? because glass and metal sink EASIER. people don’t know how to dispose of there waste properly and recycle. people made these problems! but, oh yeah, I forgot…. everyone has got to damn lazy to fix them, or help clean them up, or change there ways. therefore the only thing responsible for the extinction of the majority of all life in this world, including man, will be man.

  3. Gary Avatar

    Phasing out single drink plastic bottles in the USA will do nothing to fix this as our garbage goes into the landfill, not the ocean. Only the third wold can fix this and they don’t want to fix it.

  4. Peter Avatar

    President Trump was correct in calling that place a shit hole.