My family joins a volunteer beach clean up on the far side of the island. Kids initially reluctant are soon triumphantly bagging up bottles, fishing line and old ropes. The longevity of plastic is a source of amazement, with bottles from Vietnam, China and Taiwan all being found. The volume of rubbish is staggering. Heather tells me that the staff cleaned up a beach after the last wet season: “In one hour, we removed 80 garbage bags of rubbish.” Considering the ocean-borne rubbish worldwide, it’s not surprising that floating plastic, which looks like food to a turtle, is a major threat.
Batu Batu cares for the underwater environment, too. Recently the resort commenced a coral reef enhancement project, utilising fragments of coral and recycled glass bottles. Snorkellers and divers are educated on protecting corals and there are no-fish-feeding displays. The absence of smothering algae and dead corals indicate that the reef ecosystem is in healthy balance.