Today’s article will be a little different from our usual articles, but still with great relevance … Today we are going to talk about the importance of our beaches and keeping them clean and how it can make a difference.
Let’s start by talking about the pollution of the beaches and the sea. It is no longer news to anyone, that despite all the warnings due to Human pollution, there are still many people who do not have the necessary concerns and continue to leave garbage where they should not, thus harming the planet and its living.
The accumulation of plastic, for example, is responsible for the formation of real islands of this material. Did you know that several sea turtles die every year due to suffocation by plastic bags? These graceful animals mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and end up suffocated in plastic. But not only these animals that suffer from our consequences, there are sea birds that end up dying with their stomachs full of pieces of plastic, but also with lighters, toothbrushes and other things.
Another environmental problem related to the marine environment is the discharge of domestic sewage. This material can trigger the proliferation of algae that produce toxins, causing so-called blooms. The excess of algae is responsible for a decrease in the oxygen in the water, and its toxin is capable of putting several species at risk.
In addition to the whole environmental issue caused by pollution of the seas, we have the economic factor. Polluted beaches gradually stop being frequented by tourists and even people who live in this area, since the risk of diseases, especially of the skin, increases. The researchers warn of the “aesthetic, economic and social impacts” of marine litter, since, due to the action of sea currents, waves, winds and rainwater, it can travel great distances. In this way, garbage lying in areas several kms away from us, can reach the same to our beaches. Most of the waste that circulates in the ocean comes from activities that are carried out on land, being transported by rivers, up to the sea. Marine litter has a global distribution in the environment, where, in terms of proportion, “only” 15% is found on beaches and coastal areas, 15% on the surface and in the water column, and the remaining 70% are out of sight, at the bottom of the sea, let’s think about it, isn’t it?
In June 2019, the media reported that in Portugal there were 68 beaches with no trace of pollution for three years in a row. Good news isn’t it? But if we look closely, it should be noted that beaches with zero pollution represent only 11% (9% in 2019) of the total of the 621 bathing areas (608 in 2019) in the country.
An association reported that “more than 80% of the 12.2 million tonnes of plastic entering the marine environment each year comes from land-based sources, with the largest contributor being plastic waste, including items such as bottles drinks and other types of packaging ”.
Marine litter consists of a “wide variety of materials”, such as plastic, metal, wood, rubber, glass, textiles and paper, and constitutes a “threat of global dimensions, with negative effects on countless species of fish, marine mammals, birds and But the highest prevalence is plastic, because it is a material that degrades very slowly and lasts a long time in the ocean.
To get a sense of the time the degradation of marine litter is variable, being very high in the case of plastic or glass. The researchers give as examples a glass bottle that takes a million years to degrade, a fishing line (600 years), a plastic bottle (450 years) and a disposable diaper (450 years).
But how can we keep our beaches cleaner? The most important thing is not to leave your garbage on the beach, be it food packaging, cigarettes, cans / bottles of drinks, straws, toys etc. Start to take a bag where you can put your garbage and at the end of your trip to the beach, throw the bag away in the appropriate place, in the trash, if there is no trash can on the beach you go to, take the trash with you and throw it away in the nearest trash. It is also very easy to find portable ashtrays to take to the beach, if you are a smoker or whoever accompanies you, take one of these ashtrays with you and use it to dispose of cigarette butts, do not leave it on the beach sand or throw it in the sea, cigarette butts are some of the garbage that is most found on the beaches, let’s change that.
But what if you already do this, but notice that there is still a lot of garbage on the beach thrown away by other people, and you want to help to have cleaner beaches? Come and visit Sagres Beach Clean is a community that has come together to make a difference with everyone’s help! Working on several beaches in the Algarve in order to keep them cleaner, bringing together several people willing to help clean the beaches, thus collecting waste that other people left on the beaches. See the poster below to know the beaches where they will be:
And because at HUB Ativo we are concerned with the well-being of our planet and because we want more people to participate in initiatives such as Sagres Beach Clean, everyone who participates in this project will be able to enjoy a 20% discount in our cowork space . For that, they just need to come to our space and show a photo or something that proves that they participated in the beach cleanings with Sagres Beach Clean.