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Phu Quoc’s Beaches Are Becoming Garbage Dumps: Reports

Phu Quoc Island’s once pristine beaches have become dumping grounds for hotels and tourists.

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As the island becomes an increasingly popular travel destination, many hotels have popped up to accommodate the steadily increasing stream of tourists. According to a recent piece in Thanh Nien, both parties have taken to dumping waste into the surrounding waters and beaches, many of which are now covered with plastic bags and food containers.

“If one person eats and leaves their trash behind, others will just follow,” said Nguyen Xuan Hien, a tourist from Saigon.

Though the local media has highlighted the issue for months, little has been done to address the rubbish problem.

Some locals have called out beachside restaurants for depositing wastewater into the sea and for allowing patrons to urinate on the beach, but it is perhaps luxury hotels that are the worst offenders.

There are 28 hotels and resorts along Ba Keo, one of the island’s most popular beaches, and nearly all of them discharge their wastewater directly into the ocean. As a result, the water has become so contaminated that tourists must travel a significant distance to find a safe place to swim.

To make matters worse, the island lacks waste treatment plants to process the 70-80 tons of garbage that are generated by the island’s residents and visitors each day, reports TTR Weekly.

According to the Kien Giang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Phu Quoc attracted over 400,000 tourists in 2014, a 37% year-on-year increase. The government hopes to see this number rise to 2 –3 million by 2020, so it stands to reason that this problem will get much worse before it gets any better.

[Photo via Traveler By Design]

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