Cleaning up plastic pollution in paradise
Author: Genevieve Leaper
In coastal waters the plastic pollution problem is even more apparent – so many lovely beaches utterly spoiled by the shameful evidence of how we treat the marine environment. And there’s no hiding the beer cans on the seabed of the anchorage when the water is clear as glass. The state of the beach was a good clue that this east-facing bay was quite exposed to the prevailing winds. It did not take long to load up our paddleboards with several bags and bundles of rubbish, though this made no noticeable difference to the appearance of the beach. The tourist beaches may be bulldozed clear of rubbish at the start of the season but the wildest places, that should be the most beautiful, show the extent of the desecration. So, the remotest islands and anchorages are where we try to do a little beach clean, just a few bags every cruise. Greek fishing boats use polystyrene fish boxes for insulation and inevitably many end up in the sea, rapidly disintegrating to small particles. Approaching Pelagonisi the previous year we went to investigate a large white object which turned out to be a whole package of fish box lids, still wrapped in polythene and quite tricky to catch.