When the beach clean-up is over
Plastics from over 25 different countries washed up on Cape Verde beach
Beach clean-ups have become a bittersweet sight to see. Although their impact is immediately seen, what happens after all the volunteers are gone?
Praia dos achados, or Finders-Keepers Beach, in Cape Verde, was the scene of an apparently successful beach clean-up just six months ago. This beach is one of the most important nesting places for Loggerhead Sea Turtles Caretta caretta. Last year, they made over 5000 nests here. The clean-up was supposed to help let these turtles continue to nest here, but it turns out that the actions of Cape Verde NGOs Biosfera and DNA, and our Portuguese partner SPEA were all in vain. Upon returning to the beach six months later, they found that it had become a wasteland once again.
Shocked by this discovery, their seaside stroll turned into an impromptu investigation – where had all this trash comes from? Within an hour, they had collected labelled plastics from over 25 different countries. The tides and currents had brought litter from all over the world to this idyllic beach.
“Shocked by this discovery, their seaside stroll turned into an impromptu investigation – where had all this trash comes from?”
Amongst the rubbish, they found the desiccated corpses of two baby loggerhead sea turtles. Unable to reach the sea – their path blocked by plastic waste – they died of hunger, thirst and heat, trapped in a plastic canister immediately upon leaving their nest.
All the beach clean-ups in the world won’t be enough to solve this problem. Plastic waste from one side of the world can easily wash up on the other side. To tackle plastic pollution we not only have to stop plastic waste from entering the sea, we must reduce our consumption all together.
Sign this petition to help make beach clean-ups a thing of the past.
 SPEA coordinated the project Desertas (for the sustainable management of Santa Luzia marine reserve) together with Cape Verde NGOs Biosfera and DNA