"It is a huge mountain where the burning waste is piled up, with smoke constantly." Rachid points to the highest point in the Maldives: a mountain of trash, tall as an 8-story building. Friday, the world day without plastic bags, Europe 1 takes you to Thilafushi, literally "trash island", an open air dump large like 15 football fields which disfigures an island in the archipelago yet considered as a paradise place.
"It's hard for us to breathe that"
Every day, dozens of large boats dump 1,500 tonnes of waste there from hotels and the capital. In the air there is an unbearable smell of plastic which is consumed in the sun. Smelly smoke in which Tohil, 22, lives. "It's hard for us to breathe that. Anyway, I put on a mask when I pass by here."
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Recycling is almost nonexistent in the Maldives. Bottles of water are everywhere, that of the tap is not drinkable. For Sarah, an expatriate, plastic pollution is a real scourge. "We leave our house to go for a swim, we immediately notice that there is an incredible amount of waste on the beach. You just have to bend down, pick up a plastic bag and in five minutes you have a full trash bag. "
In addition to the waste stored in huge landfills, many people tend to dump their trash in the wild. "For example, you go on a boat and the waste accumulated during the day during a picnic is thrown into the water. It is incomprehensible!", Explains Sarah. Mindsets are changing, she says, but very slowly. Under the impetus in particular of some NGOs which sensitize children in schools.