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Beach cleaning

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– Causes of Marine Debris:
– Direct forces include population growth, technological development, and economic growth.
– Proximity forces involve land transformation and industrial processes.
– Excessive consumption of goods leads to marine debris due to cheap non-recyclable materials like plastic.
– Solid waste plastics take thousands to millions of years to decompose, forming micro-plastics.
– Sources of marine debris include land-based waste, marine-based waste, and anthropocentric activities.

– Impact of Marine Debris:
– Millions of tons of land-based waste end up in seas, oceans, and beaches through various means.
– Marine debris poses a severe threat to the marine environment, aquatic life, and humans.
– Illegal dumping, landfills, and industrial disposals contribute significantly to land-based sources.
– Marine-based sources include fishing lines, nets, and plastic ropes from marine activities.
– Anthropocentric activities like tourism, sewage, and beachgoers also contribute to marine debris.

– Environmental Education and Beach Pollution:
– Environmental education plays a crucial role in reducing pollutants on beaches and in the marine environment.
– Studies emphasize the importance of educating individuals on the impact of beach litter.
– Beach cleaning efforts rely on volunteers worldwide to combat marine pollution.
– Marine debris, including plastics, cigarette butts, and cloth litter, are commonly found on beaches.
– Pollution from rivers, oceans, and sea drifts contributes significantly to beach debris.

– Study on Beach Litter Sources:
– Research conducted in Cádiz, Spain, analyzed 16,123 beach litter items to identify sources of marine debris.
– Plastics, cigarette butts, and cloth litter are primarily sourced from beachgoers and tourists.
– Wastewater discharges near rivers and tidal creeks contribute to items like cotton swabs and sanitary products.
– Fishing activities account for fishing lines, nets, and Styrofoam debris.
– Some marine debris originates from international ships and tourists from various countries.

– Global Impact of Beach Cleaning:
– Beach cleaning efforts involve volunteers combing beaches and coastlines worldwide.
– Marine pollution, caused by human activities, leads to an increase in marine debris.
– Beach users, oceans, sea drifts, and river flow are major sources of beach debris.
– Pollutants like plastic bottles, fishing gear, and surgical masks harm marine life and coastal tourism.
– Cleaning initiatives like the one at Santo António Church in Mozambique Island aim to preserve coastal ecosystems.

Beach cleaning (Wikipedia)

Beach cleaning or clean-up is the process of removing solid litter, dense chemicals, and organic debris deposited on a beach or coastline by the tide, local visitors, or tourists. Humans pollute beaches with materials such as plastic bottles and bags, plastic straws, fishing gear, cigarette filters, six-pack rings, surgical masks and many other items that often lead to environmental degradation. Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers comb beaches and coastlines around the world to clean this debris. These materials are also called “marine debris” or "marine pollution" and their quantity has been increasing due to anthropocentric activities.

Two children cleaning beach debris in Ivory Coast
A mechanical beach cleaner with tractor attached removing unwanted beach debris

There are some major sources of beach debris such as beach users, oceans, sea drifts, and river flow. Many beach users leave their litter behind on the beaches after activities. Also, marine debris or chemicals such as raw oil drift from oceans or seas and accumulate on beaches. Additionally, many rivers bring some cities' trashes to beaches. These pollutants harm marine life and ecology, human health, and coastal tourism. Hartley et al.’s (2015) study shows that environmental education is important to eliminate many beach pollutants on beaches and the marine environment.

Beach cleaning, Santo António Church in Mozambique Island. 11 August 2009.
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