This article originally appeared on VICE Asia
On Sept. 21, volunteers across the globe gathered at their local beaches to clean up trash and stand in solidarity with our decaying global environment. In most cities, the trash found on beaches had washed up from plastic-polluted oceans. In South Korea, however, a mayor decided it was a good idea to dump waste along the southwest Jindo coast for people to clean up.
“We brought in waste styrofoam and other coastal trash gathered from nearby areas so the 600 participants could carry out clean-up activities,” said Lee Dong-jin, the mayor of Jindo county in South Jeolla province.
They collected trash from other coasts, then dumped them on the shore in Jindo. The garbage was then picked up by volunteers during the International Coastal Cleanup Day the following day, Channel News Asia reported.
This was not a very good idea, for obvious reasons.
The mayor’s office apologised for what they did and said that it was done to “raise awareness about the seriousness of coastal waste.”
Lee said that “100 percent” of the litter have been picked up and that none went back into the water.
As strange as this strategy was, it’s not the first time a government official had this idea. In 2017, a Manila city hall employee was seen dumping garbage into Manila Bay for former president and then-Manila city Mayor Joseph Estrada to pick up in front of the media.