Plastic Busters Cap involves 4000 volunteers for 30th edition of "Clean up in the Mediterranean" against marine litter


Plastic Busters Cap involves 4000 volunteers for 30th edition of "Clean up in the Mediterranean": a very important international mobilisation carried out by Legambiente to demand united policies against marine litter, 80% of which is plastic. 

The 2023 edition of Clean Up the Med, which started on the weekend of 12-14 May, took place over more than 110 initiatives organised by 100 associations spread across 17 Mediterranean countries, seven of which - Italy, Greece, Spain, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan - are the countries involved in the project Plastic Busters CAP ; the other ten are Albania and Bulgaria - where the clean-up took place at the shores of Lake Pancharevo (not only the sea, but also lakes, then), Croatia, Libya, Malta, the State of Palestine, Turkey, Portugal, Israel and Algeria, where the final event of the campaign will take place on 21 June.

According to estimates, over 4,000 volunteers were involved in cleaning 162 kilometers of beaches, removing a total of 38,522 kg of rubbish, of which 84% was plastic. On one third of the cleaned beaches, surgical masks from the Covid pandemic period are still present. Waste is first and foremost a cultural problem, which makes it necessary to insist on awareness-raising at all levels: from producers to consumers to those who manage waste disposal.

The Clean Up the Med campaign, now in its thirtieth year, since 1993 has been a real "call to action" aimed at putting in place along the coasts of the Mediterranean countries a great common mobilisation to defend the fragile and marvellous ecosystem of the Mare Nostrum from marine litter through a major volunteering initiative. A call to action that becomes a real warning to governments, national and local administrations, private stakeholders and individual citizens to take an active part in safeguarding our seas.

Thirty years more than 3,000 initiatives have been organised, involving thousands of volunteers each year, who with their energy have taken to the beach equipped with pliers, gloves and bibs to clean up the coasts and seabeds of waste, 80% of which consists of plastic, the most harmful and persistent waste for the marine habitat.

"Clean Up the Med encompasses two fundamental aspects that identify the mission of Legambiente. On the one hand, the strength of volunteering, which crosses borders to work on common goals, such as the protection of the Mediterranean Sea; on the other hand, the importance of having a united action against marine litter in all coastal countries," - underlines Giorgio Zampetti, Director General of Legambiente - over the last few years, the ever-growing unity of the associations and of the people involved, according to the numbers of this latest 2023 edition, has helped to weave and strengthen institutional ties, both nationally and with other countries bordering the same basin, in order to define increasingly necessary policies and synergic actions for waste prevention, management and disposal. In fact, the Mare Nostrum hosts one of the main biodiversity hotspots, but at the same time it is one of the marine areas where the largest amount of plastics and microplastics is concentrated".