The pictures were selected by Akira Sakano and Mitsu Okuno (Zero Waste Japan), Ko Chung Ming (Photographer, Hong Kong), Melati Wijsen (Bye Bye Plastic Bag, Indonesia), Nikhil Roshan (Photographer, India), Von Hernandez (Break Free From Plastic, Philippines) and Staff of Heinrich Boell Foundation Hong Kong office.
1st Place: Danny Ocampo

Face Mask on Seagrass Bed

"Mabini is a famous dive destination in the Philippines, but its tourism-dependent population has suffered heavily due to the lockdown that prevented even locals from engaging in water activities. When the lockdown eased, I went beneath the waves again and for the first time encountered a facemask on a bed of seagrass." - Philippines (2020)

Green Sea Turtle and Plastic

"Apo Island is one of the first marine protected areas in the Philippines. But even this area is not spared the influx of plastic waste. While diving there, I spotted a plastic bag floating in the water. I was about to collect it when an endangered Green Sea Turtle approached, probably mistaking the discarded bag for a jellyfish. I snapped this photo before the turtle tried to eat the plastic waste. I then immediately pulled the bag away." - Philippines (2018)

Fish and PET Bottle

"I have often seen marine creatures adapting to their environment and it is not uncommon for them to make their homes in items that humans discard. This goby is using a plastic bottle as its shelter. Thus, it is always hard to decide whether to pick up waste from the reef or just leave it." - Philippines (2020)
2nd Place: Umeed Mistry - Plastic Ocean
"An eel pops out of a plastic sack that temporarily serves as its refuge beneath a loading dock. Such sacks are used to carry either rice or cement to Kadmat, a small island off the southwest coast of India. Once the contents are emptied in this remote location, the sacks are either burned at a dump or end up in the ocean. In some instances, they provide shelter to a creature in the very ecosystem that is now so threatened by plastics.” - India
"Over the past two decades, single-use packaging for chips and biscuits, other food packaging, and bottled water have quickly made their way into rural and remote areas of India. A corresponding lack of awareness and the necessary infrastructure to collect, recycle, and properly dispose of plastics lead to situations like this, less than 100 metres from the entrance to Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park in the South Andamans." - India
"The ubiquitous plastic straw and bottle cap are now part of the momentous occasion when a female Olive Ridley Sea Turtle covers her recently laid eggs on a nesting beach in India." - India
2nd Place: Phan Vu Trong


(1/3) “Environmental pollution puts severe pressure on the rhythm of life. The dumping of waste, such as plastic or non-biodegradable packaging, has affected the ecosystem and led to soil pollution." - Vietnam (2020)


(2/3) "This has long-term effects on vegetation and soil fertility, breaking the earth’s ecological balance and threatening every species. We can save our environment by little steps taken by everyone." - Vietnam (2020)

Look for a Living

(3/3) "We should reduce the amount of waste, discard waste properly… and other simple actions. By protecting the environment, we are protecting ourselves and our future.” - Vietnam (2020)
3rd Place: Kel Melazarte - Dreamland
(1/3) “A herd of cows regularly scavenges through piles of plastics and other waste in a so-called materials’ recovery facility – in reality, an enclosed dumpsite." - Philippines (2021)
(2/3) "Like the other residents of “Dreamland’, a name sarcastically applied to this depressed urban area, the cows hunt for anything beneficial. ” - Philippines (2021)
(3/3) “Ironically, the production of more waste materials keeps the dumpsite alive, providing a way to subsist despite the hazards for people and animals.” - Philippines (2021)
3rd Place: Prabha Jayesh

A Laminated Earth

“Eating plastics, animals died. Seeing plastics, nature cried. So say no to plastics!” - India (2015)
3rd Place: Sudip Maiti


“Children play in the polluted streams of Adi Ganga in Kolkata, India. As a tributary of the Ganges River, this waterway once supported commercial shipping. Now it is reduced to a six-foot canal and dying, thanks in part to single-use plastic bags.” - India (2019)
Lily Wang

Plastic Ocean

“A nylon fishing net strangles marine life. To remove it, a dedicated group of volunteers, who have spent more than 10 years assisting marine conservation, transform large, unused plastic containers into lift bags.” - Philippines
Napat Wesshasartar

Plastic Yin-Yang

“An aerial view of an unregulated landfill in Thailand.” - Thailand (2020)

Plastic Sea

“One of the largest unregulated landfills in Thailand.” - Thailand (2020)
Ashim Kumar Mukhopadhyay
Enamul Kabir

Preparing for Recycling

“Plastics big and small impact our ecosystem. In a plastic collection centre, a woman bundles up plastic bottles to send to recycling plants.” - India (2019)


“Every day near Rampurhat, a city in West Bengal, people protect the environment by earning a living through collecting and recycling plastic waste.” - India (2020)
Thusitha Rathnayake

Plastic Mountains

“Mountains of plastics, mountains of problems...” - Thailand (2020)

Fishing Net Effects

“First, these nets help capture fish. When abandoned, they ensnare the habitat overall because humans are only interested in fish, not the environment.” - Thailand (2020)
Cee Brensan

Plastic Pollution

“We humans use plastics daily, making them ubiquitous. Yet plastics are harmful to our environment as they take years to decompose. Who will suffer? Us, the consumers of the natural resources destroyed by our own pollution.” - Philippines (2021)
Wayan Suyadnya
“A huge pile of plastic rubbish floats on the ocean. In just a few hours, the refuse will be washed on to the shore – a scene only too common during the rainy season.” - Indonesia (2021)
“A team from Coca-Cola and the government cleans plastic waste from Kuta Beach in Bali.” - Indonesia (2021)
Natalie Harms
Wong Chi Keung Ricky

Assorted Greens

Hard plastics wait to be shredded into flakes at an informal recycling facility. - India (2018)

Plastic Picnicker

“A hungry money looks for leftover food in a plastic bag.” - Hong Kong (2021)
Nihei Korzy - I like the Sea
“Whenever I go on a beach clean-up, I hear my son say: “I love the ocean!” " - Japan (2020)
"I want to leave a clean ocean for the future! Let's do our best!” - Japan (2020)