Whether on Sylt, in Barcelona, Tel Aviv or Sri Lanka. Without cleaning staff, all beaches would probably no longer just be made of fine sand, but would literally be drowning in plastic waste.
Tourists are particularly responsible for this problem.
Disposable bottles, lighters, flip flops, old fishing nets or shopping bags. All of this accumulates at the beautiful vacation spots. And with the number of tourists in the summer season, the amount of plastic waste in coastal regions also increases by up to 40 percent and overwhelms the municipal waste disposal companies.
In recent years, around 300 pieces of waste per 100 meters have been counted on European beaches.
In the Mediterranean alone, more than half a million tons of plastic waste end up every year. That corresponds to 33,800 plastic bottles.
80% of the garbage that ends up in the water via the air is washed back on the coasts within 10 years.
In April 2019, 22 kilograms of plastic waste were found in the stomach of a sperm whale washed up on the Italian coast. And this is not an isolated case. Many turtles suffocate on the remains of fishing nets. Seabirds are starving because their digestive systems are clogged with plastic. Nature pays the highest price for polluting the seas. But also the human. Because our bodies are also changed by plastic.
Cigarette butts instead of sand by the sea
On the German Baltic Sea coast, cigarette butts make up around one in ten of all garbage found and more than 9,300 cigarette butts were collected and disposed of at the Germany-wide Coast Cleaning Day 2020.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.3 billion people smoke around 6.5 trillion cigarettes every year. This is not only bad for health, but also for the environment, as it is estimated that 70 percent of the butts smoked end up in nature.
The marine conservation organization Ocean Conservancy reported that cigarette butts were among the most common cleanup finds between 2011 and 2018.
This had consequences on Föhr in the North Sea, because there is a smoking ban on the beaches in Wyk. And also on many other beaches.
Here's what you can take to the beach to minimize waste:
- Sustainable swimwear, for example made from 95% organic cotton by Frija Omina
- Beach towels are made of cotton in all colors and shapes
- Sunscreen is important for everyone, regardless of skin color. However, as early as 2008 it was found that many sunscreens are toxic to corals. That's why there are coral-friendly sun creams from Ladival or V.SUN , for example,
- Bring your own food and drink, ideally without plastic
- If you're going to the beach to pick up takeout, get it on a plate or in a can from home.
- Of course, flip-flops are a must, have a look at the avocadostore , they offer fair trade, organic and eco shoes
- If you're one of the 1.3 billion people who smoke, bring a portable ashtray to keep your butts from ending up on the beach
what else you can do
It may sound awkward or annoying, but if you see trash lying on the beach, collect it and throw it in the nearest trash can. This garbage can then no longer harm marine life.
In addition to your swimwear, pack a garbage bag. That way you won't get into trouble if there's no rubbish bin nearby.
If you would like to be informed directly about the latest blog posts, please follow us Instagram ! :-)