A Valentine’s Day stunt on a world-famous beach has left furious residents grappling with the environmental consequences of the romantic gesture.
A special Valentine’s Day proposal was organized at the northern end of Steyne in Sydney’s Manly Beach on Wednesday with hundreds of white plastic “petals” scattered along the beach.
But not everyone loved the gesture, especially angry locals who had to clean up fake petals, plastic leaves, candles and plastic wrappers discarded on the beach.
In images posted on Facebook, one photo showed two women placing a giant white heart made of flower petals, with a red carpet and red roses.
A Valentine’s Day proposal has outraged locals after plastic flower petals, candles and plastic wrapping were scattered on the beach.
The collection of remains from the Valentine’s Day proposal included plastic sheets.
Later photographs showed the disaster spread across the beach.
“The candles were placed in the sand, so it appears the celebration took place both on the beach and on the trail,” the local wrote.
“Plastic petals are cheaper than real ones, but surely whoever you’re doing this would prefer fewer real petals than hundreds or thousands of fake ones.”
The resident said he knew the petals were plastic after lighting one and black smoke appeared.
The local said no one had bothered to clean up the mess, adding that hundreds of petals would “smother wildlife” for hundreds of years.
They believe that the discarded plastic items would be consumed by fish, turtles and birds that would mistake the petals for food.
The angry local said the mess seemed intentional.
‘I think it doesn’t occur to some people to consider the impact when making decisions like this.
“Think about your long-term impact, make decisions accordingly, and feel better about them.”
Plastic petals could remain in the environment for hundreds of years and kill large numbers of wildlife, including turtles.
Ocean Conservancy plastics program vice president Nicholas Mallos feared the abandoned items would likely end up killing wildlife.
“It’s pretty shocking to see these photos, especially knowing that these items were intentionally thrown away,” he said. Yahoo News Australia.
“Ingestion of such plastics in sufficient quantities can cause serious harm to birds and marine animals.”
Mallos added that flexible plastics are deadly to wildlife and believes polyester petals will be too.
Just a few small pieces of plastic can cause the death of a baby sea turtle.
The store that posted the photos on Facebook was shocked by the amount of discarded items and the lack of care for the environment and the surrounding ecosystem.
The vice president said that when animals digest plastic, it can block their digestive system and cause starvation.
Another problem is that plastics can also contain chemicals that can alter the feeding and reproductive behaviors of wildlife.
Tara Jones, program manager for AMCS Plastics & Packaging, said yahoo she believes there are safer products to use.
He explained that when plastic is lightweight, wind and water can easily transport it, increasing the chances of it being swallowed by wildlife.
“Almost every species group in the ocean has encountered plastic and the vast majority of these interactions are negative,” he said.