Plastic Planet●EARTH
photo and text by Fujiwara Koichi

 藤原幸一 著

表紙 裏表紙
There are huge amount of plastic wastes in the natural environment where wild monkeys thrive on.  The photographs taken by Fujiwara Koichi strongly appeal for the intense discomfort and misery.  What can we do now for the Earth, for mother nature and for ourselves?


 P1-5  total 6 photos  

Morning sun arrives at the forest.
The morning light grows over the overgrown trees and streams through the branches. Wildlife begins to awake.

A sleepy monkey just got up and is climbing a giant tree smoothly.

Jump from tree to tree!

"This water is delicious!
A male monkey tells everyone.
Morning is the time to drink water. The monkeys here will not drink dirty water at all.
Early in the morning, dew drops on the grass are the cleanest and the most delicious. The monkeys love to drink it.

 P6-9  total 5 photos  

A mother and her baby monkey live in this forest.
There is a tiny baby monkey only one month, held by his mother.

"Let's play again like yesterday"
The baby’s friend calls out from the top of the tree.

"Can I go and play with him?"
The baby askes his mother.
"Wait a minute"
Having said that, his mom started climbing the tree.

His mother looked around from above the tree.
She is checking to see if there are any animals that might attack small monkeys or humans who have come to catch them.

"Okay! You can go play now"
After the mother said so, the baby ran happily to see his friend.
Baby monkeys are stunned by insects, try to bite the grass and put anything that appears in front of them into their mouth and play.
The two played so much they forget the time.

 P10-15  total 6 photos  


While the baby was playing, his mother was grooming with her friends.

The sun had risen to the top of the sky, and the mother had forgotten how much time had passed.
She suddenly wondered where her baby was playing.
She looked around and found her baby playing with his friend behind the tree.
He looked like he was having fun by putting something in his mouth. The mother was relieved to see him and called her baby.
"Come here! It's time to take a nap!"

When the baby noticed his mother's voice, he came and hugged her.
His friend also went back to his mother.

"Mom, I am very sleepy."
The baby started to sleep in his mother’s warm belly.
The mother, relieved to be reunited with her baby, also fell asleep.

 P16-20  total 9 photos  


When mother and baby wake up, their friends are having breakfast on the tree.
"It's very sweet if you suck the roots of this flower."
"The juice of this leaf is delicious too"
Monkeys individually search for food and try to fill their stomachs.

"This looks great too!"
A monkey started eating something mysterious.
It was a plastic string made by humans.

The baby was curious and wanted to eat the plastic too, he tried running to a mountain of plastic.
But his mother grabbed her baby's tail and stopped him.
"No, no, it's poison to your body. You can’t eat it!”
His mother is familiar with the various plants that grow in the forest.
She also knows which plant flowers, fruits, leaves and stems are delicious and good for the body.

In the forest, there is a place where human waste is dumped and accumulated.
Monkeys follow the strong smell released from the garbage and come to the waste dumping site.
There are some monkeys that have begun eating the plastic garbage.

In a nearby mountain, there has already been tones and tones of rubbish dumped, creating a mountain of rubbish.
There are countless plastic waste, like bottles, bags, cups, and cords.
Various wildlife lives in the forest.

  P21-27  total 10 photos  

The mother and baby monkey were curious about the plastic mountain and nervously approach the pile of plastic.
Suddenly, a truck full of plastic waste arrived.
"Beep beep beeep screech!”
The truck, making loud scary sounds is throwing plastic waste.
With a loud rumble, plastic waste from the back of the truck started falling out.

"Be careful! It’s very dangerous!"
The mother holding her baby quickly ran away.

"Mom, I was hungry"
The mother and her baby aimlessly walked in the forest.

When they came out of the forest, they came to an open road with a puddle of water.
They can see the river up ahead.
"Mom, I want to eat until I’m full."
The baby said.
"alright then, let's go to the sea"

The sea is connected to the river flowing through the forest.
The mother and her baby went along the river to the sea.
Like the forest, there are a lot of plastic wastes on the riverbank.

  P28-33  total 9 photos   

There was also a place where a lot of plastic accumulated in the river.
Plastic waste dumped in the forest are blown away by the wind and washed away by the rain to the river.

The mother monkey with her baby arrived at the sea from the river.
The friends who arrived earlier are looking for food on the sandy beach.

However, what they found was plastic.
The abandoned plastic wastes in the forest washed away into the river has flowed into the sea.

This island produces 1200 tons of household plastic waste every day.
On this sand beach alone, about 100 tons of household waste gathers. Most of it is plastic.

  P34-37  total 7 photos    

The baby found plastic waste on the beach and asked his mother.
"Mom, can I eat this now? There are some friends who have already eaten it."
The mother responded to her baby with a troubled face.
"It's totally wrong! It's the same plastic I saw in the forest and rivers. It's very bad for everybody!"

However, just ahead of the mother and her baby, a fellow monkey picks up a plastic bottle and tries to put it into his mouth.

This hungry monkey started to bite the plastic bottle that had drifted onto the beach.
The monkey bites various parts of the plastic bottle to taste whether it is edible or not.

 P38-43  total 8 photos     


Another fellow monkey has caught something out of the sea.
It is a delicious crab that every monkey loves to eat.

The mother and her baby dived into the sea together and tried to find crabs in the sand of the seabed.

"I found it!" the mother shouted out.

When the baby was diving in the sea to look for a crab, he found something white and jelly-like similar to a jellyfish.
He got close.  He thought, “Maybe I can eat it”

It was not a jellyfish but a plastic bag drifting in the sea that originally had flowed from the river.
The baby wanted to try eating it and extended his hand.

"You can't eat that! It was the same stuff in the forest and the river."
The mother stopped her baby from trying to eat the plastic bag in the sea.
"but mom, my friends ate it in the forest"
"No, is no! You will get sick."

A lot of other plastic things, such as plastic lighters, straws, bottle lids and toys float near the plastic bag.

The mother found something on the sea bed and cautiously approached it.
It was a clump of plastic rubbish clustered together.
Bottles, bags, ropes, fishing lines, etc. all plastic.

 P44-51  total 7 photos     

There was a collection of strings near the plastic bottle.
It is a plastic net used by humans for fishing.
There was a dead fish tangled up in this net that was dumped.
The mother was worried that her baby would also get caught in the plastic net.

Near the net, there were corals entwined with plastic bags.
The parts of the coral where the plastic bags are touching have blackened and are starting to die.
The mother is worried again that her baby's feet may get caught in this plastic bag.

While the baby was diving in shallow water near the sandy beach he was looking at something moving in the sea.
A crab with big claws was eating a small plastic bag fragment. The crab actually wanted to eat the seaweed attached to the plastic bag but is putting the plastic fragment together into its mouth.

A fish with colorful body painting has appeared in the plastic forest in the sea. It is a blackpatch triggerfish.
Like the crab, the fish likes to eat the seaweed that grows on plastic bags. The fish with a strong tooth can eat the seaweed together with the plastic bag fragment.

A plastic bag has flowed and touched the mother’s foot.
She was surprised and suddenly jumpes up.

"This is a scary sea!  Let's go back to land!"
The mother shouted.

The mother and her baby have given up eating in the sea and left.
Leaving the sandy beach for the hill, they follow the river to the forest.

 P52-54  total 7 photos      

The mother with her baby decided to go back to their forest and rest for a while.

On the way back, the baby has begun to squirm restlessly in the grass.
Apparently, he felt like doing a poop.

The baby's poo had a white plastic string mixed into it.

P55-61  total 13 photos   
A fur seal stuck in a fishing net abandoned in the Australian sea. 
The broken net is deeply cutting into its body.
There are many fur seals, sea lions and seals that die from fishing nets in the seas all around the world.

Insects gather at plastic dumps around the world, searching for food and a place to live.

This Gentoo penguin living in Antarctica is stuck in a plastic ring it found at a dumping site. This makes it impossible to catch fish even by diving into the sea.

A hermit crab from Okinawa, carrying a wine bottle cap instead of a shell.
There are many hermit crabs carrying plastic found in the oceans around the world.
Plastics often carry bacteria and contaminants from the sea.

Creatures are in danger!

The monkey story introduced in this book are not problems specific to a particular area or creature.
The same thing is happening everywhere in the world.
Plastics are produced all over the world, and many are thrown out.
The plastics we are producing is about to cover the whole earth.
It might be impossible to eliminate all plastics from this world.
However, at this rate the existence of earth and the creatures living on it are in danger.
The earth is facing a crisis right now.
Let's think together about what we can do.

The plastics we dump are creating problems for the wildlife.
Wild animals are dying from plastic getting stuck in their bodies after eating plastic waste.
Even in the sea, creatures are dying from eating plastic or by getting tangled in fish nets.
In addition, plastics have affected the ecology of animals. Birds have started to use plastic material to make their nests instead of natural twigs.
The plastic waste that human beings have produced will stay as plastic on earth.
It will not be broken down by nature.
At this rate our future is a plastic covered earth.
On the other hand, things created by nature will eventually be broken down by nature.
That is materials like paper, wood, food and so on.

Photo caption
1- Within the rubbish illegally dumped in the forests of South Asia, Asian elephants gather, lured in by the strong smell.
Here, elephants have eaten all the garbage contained in a plastic bag.
2- The Galapagos finch, a bird found only in the World Heritage Site, Galapagos Islands in South America.
The finch’s favorite food is the scraps stuck on plastic available at the dump.
3- Adelie penguins marching on the Antarctic icefield. What awaits them is a pile of plastic and other garbage dumped in large quantities in their breeding ground. Some penguins pick at the plastic waste every time they pass.

American bears who live in the Canadian Arctic love the dumping ground.
Some waste human beings throw away contain sugar and artificial additives which are not usually found in nature and attracts the bear.

5- There was a Carrion Crow in a park in Tokyo who was trying to fly off with a plastic bag in its beak.
There are a lot of plastic materials mixed into the nests of wild birds living in cities.

P62-63  total 7 photos    

Life full of plastic

What is plastic in the first place?
Plastics were not originally found in nature. It was created by humans.
At first, natural rubber was used as the raw material, then coal and now most are made from petroleum and natural gas.
Let's take a look at the plastic around us.
Plastic bottles are a familiar plastic. It is said that Japanese people consume a drink in a 500ml plastic bottle, one every two days.
In other words, in one year 182 plastic bottles are thrown out in the garbage.
In addition there are, plastic bags, tappers, cups, forks and knives, dishes, straws, sandals, toys, artificial flowers, plastic bags, balloons, plastic bags, plastic containers, shampoo containers, parts for tricycles and bicycles, confectionery bags, etc. , Cotton swabs, makeup tools, hair stops, fishing lines, fishing rods, TVs, computers, smartphones, boats, building materials for houses and buildings, car bodies and interiors, etc.
When you realize, plastic has become an integral part of human life, and is overflowing.

About 400 million tons of plastics are produced worldwide in one year (2015).
In addition, the growing economy and population in countries such as China, India and Africa are increasing the amount of plastic produced each year.
If all the plastic products made so far in the world were piled up to the height of a human ankle, it would fill an area 7 times the size of Japan.

P64-67  total 7 photos     

Plastic and us

Approximately 4.8 million to 12.7 million tons (8 million tons on average) of plastic are dumped into the world’s ocean every year.
In the ocean, the influence of the current has created places where large amounts of plastic has collected.
The Pacific Ocean extending to the east of Japan is the largest sea in the world.
In the northeastern ocean of the Pacific, there is a place where the plastic accumulated is more than three times as large as Japan.
If plastic continues to be dumped into the sea, it is predicted that by 2050 the weight of all fish living in the sea will be the same as the weight of plastic dumped in the sea.

Plastic smaller than 5mm is called microplastic.
Plastics drifting in the ocean are fragmented under the influence of ultraviolet rays from the sun and waves.
Styrofoam used as food trays are broken down in the sea and turned into micro plastic.
Plastic is originally poisonous. In addition, microplastics contain many poisons, such as organic mercury, dioxins, PCBs, and DDT.
These poisons are all made by humans and dumped in the sea.

Micro plastic in the body

Some microplastics have been made by humans.
Microbeads made from 0.001mm to 0.1mm plastic, called scrubs are used for teeth polishing, body soap, face wash, etc.
The microbeads were made to remove dirt however, it was discovered that they flow from the drains into the river straight out into the sea.
Nowadays there is a movement around the world to stop using microbeads and switch to use natural products.
However, huge amounts of microbeads have already flowed into the sea.

Microplastics have been found in 92%-95% of mussels eaten in Europe.
Even if humans eat microplastics, 99% will be excreted as poop.
However, some of it remains in the body. If it is consumed for several decades, more than 1000 microplastics remain in the body.
Micro plastic is also found in fish swimming in the sea around Japan.

 Photo caption

Styrofoam that fell apart in the sea.
Used as packing material and food trays, Styrofoam is widely used all around us.


I placed micro plastics on the side of the fish.
It turns out that it is the perfect size the fish can eat.
In actual fact, microplastics have been found in the stomachs of fish, whales and sea turtles, indicating these animals have consumed plastics.

P68-70  total 9 photos      

Metal straw


Paper that I saw in a small shop in a village in the east of Bali.The handwritten text reads, "2019 NO PLASTIC BAGS IN ASRI SHOP"

Let’s return to earth-friendly life

Until about 60 years ago in Japan, people still took hand-crafted bamboo and plant vine baskets and cotton bags to the shops.
When buying tofu at the tofu shop, people brought metal bowls or a big rice bowl from home.
When buying soy sauce or cooking oil, people would take glass jars and say how many cups they want and have the jar filled at the shops.
It was an era where plastic products were not widely available in Japan.
During that era the garbage collected at the collection site was often made of natural materials such as paper and wood, so it was buried in soil and left to return to nature.

However, as technology progressed and plastic products were made in large quantities, our lives changed.
Much of the food is packaged in plastic and is now placed into plastic shopping bags rather than baskets from home.
Large amounts of plastics have been used and large amounts thrown away.
Because plastic does not return to nature when buried in soil, it remains as garbage everywhere on the earth and continues to increase.
In the past, we have lived in the grace of nature, however giving priority to convenience and cheapness we are now threatening the global environment.

On the other hand, recently the efforts to eliminate plastic waste has been spreading.
Already more than 60 countries have begun to use and put restrictions on single use plastics.
There has been an increase in restaurants and retail stores that do not provide plastic straws and plastic bags.
In addition, there are some companies that promote the recycling of plastics and some that are creating products using biodegradable plastics that will return to soil. 
From now on, it is important for each individual to consider what they can do for the earth and to ask again whether the current lifestyle is really okay.

Photo caption

A bag made of biodegradable plastic that turns back into soil


Developed technology that chemically recycles the polyester fibers contained in clothes into polyester resin.


Seven & i Holdings Co., Ltd.
PET bottle collectors installed at convenience stores such as Seven-Eleven and supermarkets such as Ito-Yokado will process the bottles into packaging materials after collection.


The company’s restaurants nationwide do not offer plastic straws and instead offer the company’s biomass straw (made from corn) when requested by customers.


We have developed our own proprietary biodegradable PHBH polymer, which breaks down in soil or in the sea. It can be used as a material for plastic bags, dishes and straws.

Wild animals are crying

On April 3, 2019 there was news that a deer, a natural monument in Japan had died. In its stomach, they found 3.2 kilograms of lumps that were found to be plastic bags.
The deer was weak and was taken into custody on March 23rd near Todai-ji in Nara City.
On the 27th when inspected by the “Saika Shigakai of Nara”, they found so much plastic in its stomach.

In fact, in recent years there have been many incidents around the world where plastic has been found in the stomach of dead wildlife. 
For example, on June 4,2018, on the eastern coast of Thailand, a green turtle was taken into custody. It had consumed plastic debris, rubber bands and balloons but unfortunately died two days later.
At the end of March 2019, 22 kg of plastic waste was found in the stomach of a sperm whale that was beached on the coast of Sardinia in western Italy.
A dead baby whale was also found in the whale’s body.
Similar incidents of whales dying from consuming large amounts of plastics has been recorded in Thailand and the Philippines too.
In particular, a sperm whale corpse found on November 19, 2018 in Kapota Island, Indonesia had 115 plastic cups, 4 plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags and 3.26kg of plastic string and 2 pairs of sandals in its stomach. 

Like this, wild animals from all over the world are in trouble.

Reducing plastic waste might be very hard.
Nevertheless, it is something that must be done.
It might be annoying to take your own shopping bag when grocery shopping, but it is very important to reduce the amount of single use plastic bags.
It is also necessary to avoid using plastic plates, cups and buying drinks in plastic bottles and switch to using glass and water bottles.
It would be wonderful to get vegetables and fruits that are not prepacked in plastic.
Make sure to correctly divide plastic when throwing it out so it will be recycled.
Make sure the earth is not further polluted with plastic waste. For the future of a beautiful earth.


Video 動画 
Please click this photo to start a footage video.
Wild birds making their nest with plastic straws

Plastic Ocean
― Every year 800 million tons plastic waste are abandoned into the sea of the world.―

Plastic wastes illegally dumped are eaten by wild elephants




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