Plastic bottle pollution is a big problem in Brazil, especially when it comes to polluting the Amazon river and its tributaries.
Tourists are told to drink only bottled water and Brazilians prefer to do the same if they can afford it. Soft drinks in plastic bottles are also popular. That means there is a massive problem with empty plastic bottles, which rarely get recycled.
Apparently in 2011 only 2% of all waste was being recycled. I doubt that figure has changed much.
Sold in bulk, there is little use for the bottle once used…though some are cut in half and used to bail out leaky canoes.
One brilliant Brazilian invented a way of using plastic bottles to make indoor lights, but there are only so many lights you can have in your home, before you have a surplus.
I did see recycling bins in some eco-hotels, but more often saw bottles thrown into the undergrowth, rivers, streets or overflowing street bins.
It would be a great pity if the massive islands of plastic waste we see floating in oceans around the world were replicated on the mighty Amazon.
This bag of rubbish was collected by us after several days of celebration by local youngsters in an area of outstanding beauty at the back of my forest. This is what it should look like, pristine, wild, quiet and peaceful.