Full nappies, flip-flops, toothbrushes, and thousands of cigarette butts! This is not the summary of an evening that got a little worse than planned! This was our view from our sunbeds on the island of Redang. A beautiful dream island with the most beautiful blue sea we have ever seen, a white beach, and palm trees. Such a pity to see that more rubbish is left behind here with the year. That’s why we decided to roll up our sleeves and do our bit for the ‘ocean clean up’ on Redang Island.
We have been living in Malaysia for 1,5 years now, and we see more and more waste along the highway, on the streets, and in parks. I don’t remember seeing the waste container for paper and waste driving by here every week. Let alone a separate bin for plastic or glass! Strange really, because you often come across advertisements here encouraging people to use less plastic bags or straws. It’s a good thing that they do, but it’s all the more a shame to see all this junk lying on the street. So here in the city, we are used to it, and we also know that we can find a group of friends in the shape of rats there.
At first, it felt a bit like community service, but soon we got the hang of it and it was a very soothing job. At the reception of the hotel, I asked for two plastic bags, how ironic, and gloves. I didn’t like the idea to clean nappies with my bare hands. With a mini glove like that it felt a bit cleaner haha. The beach on Redang where we were staying is not that big, but very crowded. So we had quite some people watching us.
Jeroen even got help from an elderly Malaysian couple who wanted to have their picture taken with him. So more people took pictures and looked at us a bit strangely. After half an hour of rubbish, the bags started to fill up fast. A restaurant owner saw us busy and came up with new bags. He took the full bags, and we could go on again. In the meantime, you are sweating your ass off because even at seven o’clock in the morning, it is quite warm here when the sun starts shining. A good morning workout!