Whilst artificial tyre reefs are being hauled out of the oceans around the world, such as in Guam and France, at the Pantai Chendor beachfront along Malaysia’s east coast, scrap tyres are bound together to keep the sands from washing away – the scrap tyre mats ultimately saves the turtle hatchlings at the Rimbun Dahan Turtle Hatchery, now under unprecedented threat from erosion.
Conservation enthusiast Fadhil Izzuddin lamented that the hatchery was unable to build expensive or sophisticated stone walls to offset the problem of erosion, so constructing barriers using scrap tyres was the most feasible decision. This method also gives some use to scrap tyres which may otherwise be left in landfill.
The idea for using scrap tyres came about after Fadhil recalled seeing tyres floating in the water by several nearby jetties where wave lashings could sometimes be unpredictable and destructive. “During low tide, the tyres would just remain in place but there would be a lot of sand trapped inside. Some even had mangroves growing out of them – I thought I could adapt it for our Hatchery.”