Do you think a beach clean-up could make a difference?
On October the 10th 2020, Clean Coast Sardinia organized a beach cleanup in Platamona beach, Sorso Sardinia.The Platamona beach is in the Asinara Gulf in northern Sardinia. The beach itself is narrow but extended for kilometers with golden and white sands. Clean Coast Sardinia‘s founders and volunteers, with a few others helping hands like Waste Free Ocean and supported by Thierry Neuville, a rally driver who was racing at the Italy Rally Sardinia.
One side with white sand while on the other side of the dune has mounds of trash. The facing side was clean because you might get noticed by bystanders when polluting the beach while the other side is quiet and has many trees and bushes.
It is also true that the bars and restaurants keep eye on them. It is not the trash brought by the tides, which is impossible because of the natural high back dunes. As you can see in the pictures, this waste is directly thrown by the people. They could be the tourists, locals or the young bloods doing parties around the beach. You cannot see the big trash around the bars and clubs as they clean it actively. Nevertheless, there are plastic fragments lying around which can barely be spotted by our eyes. Walking along the white sand beach makes you feel that you are in a paradise with a blue and green sea. You even see some dolphins if you are lucky enough. But it is no more a paradise when it is full of trash and rubbish.
Many volunteers from Australia, England, France, Italy, Nepal, Poland and Sardinia itself have joined the beach clean-up. There is no boundary when you are willing to contribute to the environment. Without taking any breaks and with a huge smile on and tireless eyes, they collected over 100 trash bags in a short span of time.
Fig c. & d.: Volunteers representing different countries and local communities.
The reality is,the organized beach clean-ups can only remove a fraction of the trash. But the remaining will last for hundreds of years until it is picked up. The Mediterranean Sea is just a few meters away, and it can have severe effects on birds and animals when they ingest it.
If you are reading this article, we encourage you to participate in clean-ups happening near you!
According to WWF, the amount of plastic that enters the Mediterranean water each year is 0.57 million tons which is like dumping 33,800 plastic bottles into the sea every minute. When you see trash even on the street, try to bring it in a bin. Also, there are many ways to reduce the use of plastic and manage the waste. Quit single use plastic, upcycle old stuff – with a little effort we all can contribute to minimise the negative impact on our environment and as a consequence, we make the ecosystem, which we are part of, healthier.
Platamona Beach Cleanup was the third event in the ICC 2020 Season, an initiative started by Ocean Conservancy. If you are reading this article, we encourage you to participate in clean-ups happening near you! You can also download a free app called CLEAN SWELL – if you do solo- cleanups or with small groups of friends – you can become part of the worldwide community share and help build a database.
A special thank you to Sorso municipality which helped us remove the trash from the environment, to Thierry Neuville for his support and promoting the good cause and first and foremost – to all the volunteers who participated in the event. See you soon!
Bikram Bahadur Singh