- One image taken near Roatan, an island off Honduras, shows diver grimace as he prepares to enter the water
- Rubbish was probably washed into sea from nearby Guatemala, carried on rivers swollen by rainy season flowing through towns and villages
- One ocean protection campaigner said it was the worst example of plastic pollution he has seen
These pictures are unlikely to make it into the glossy tourist brochures that sell the Caribbean as a paradise destination.
For they show the much grimmer reality of clear blue seas increasingly choked by a tide of discarded plastic.
In one photograph taken near Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras, a diver grimaces as he prepares to enter the water almost completely covered by waste.
Another, taken from below the waterline, shows plastic bottles, bags and other rubbish on the surface blocking out sunlight.
Meanwhile, a close-up image of the ocean reveals dozens of disposable knives and forks floating among seaweed.
It is thought the rubbish was washed into the sea from nearby Guatemala, carried on rivers swollen by the recent rainy season flowing through towns and villages.
The sight disgusted photographer Caroline Power, who shared the images online to raise awareness of the problem. She wrote: ‘This has to stop – think about [the plastic you use in] your daily lives.’
John Hourston, of the Blue Planet Society, which campaigns to protect the oceans, said it was the worst example of plastic pollution he has seen.
He pointed out that plastic gets broken down into microscopic particles that enter the food chain when plankton and fish eat them.
He added: ‘It is thought that 90 per cent of sea birds have ingested some sort of plastic, and there are many examples of turtles and whales mistaking plastic for food.
‘We all have a part to play in reducing plastic waste but manufacturers and government need to take the lead. It’s a global problem which needs a global solution.’
The Daily Mail has long campaigned to end the scourge of dumped plastic.
The ‘Banish the Bags’ campaign led to a huge reduction in single-use plastic bags at supermarkets, and now we are calling for a deposit scheme on plastic bottles.
‘In a major victory for our ‘Ban The Beads’ campaign, last year ministers pledged to outlaw toxic microbeads which are poisoning our seas.
Source: Daily Mail