Beach Litter 2023, 961 waste for every 100 meters of beach

The results of the Legambiente survey on 232,800 m2 of sampled area: 36,543 waste counted. On the podium of the top ten materials: artificial polymers/plastic, followed by glass/ceramics and metals

Out of a total of 232,800 m2 of area sampled by Legambiente with the Beach Litter 2023 survey, 36,543 waste, an average of 961 waste every 100 meters of beachthe equivalent of two lanes of an Olympic swimming pool completely filled with waste of which the 72.5% is made from artificial polymers/plastics. In particular, there are 38 lidos monitored this year, relating to 15 Regions (Liguria, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio, Marche, Abruzzo, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Molise, Calabria, Sicily , Sardinia).

THE TOP TEN OF MATERIALS – This year, the situation is made worse – explains Legambiente – by waste from glass/ceramics (9.2% of the total), mostly composed of building materials (tiles, bricks, tiles, etc.) disposed of irregularly on the beach. They follow, in the top ten of the materials found, the metal (6.8% of the waste collected) and paper and cardboard (3.9% of the total). The remaining collected material consists of fabrics, treated wood, rubber, bioplastics, food waste and chemicals.

BEACHED OBJECTS – About half of the total of these monitored waste (52% of the total) is represented by sun 10 object types (out of the 180 total categories) with respect to which two elements emerge: on the one hand, the entry into the top ten, directly in fourth place, of construction materials with 5.8%; on the other, the drop in the disposable tableware category, this year in ninth place in the ranking with 3% of the total. Returning to the ranking, plastic fragments are confirmed in first place (between 2.5 cm and 50cm) with 10.9% of the total; they follow caps and lids with 8.6% of the total e cigarette butts with 6%. In fifth place, there are plastic cotton swabs (4% of the total). With 3.9% of the total we find polystyrene fragments (between 2.5 cm and 50 cm) and bottles and beverage containers respectively in sixth and seventh place in the ranking. The ranking is closed, in eighth and tenth place, with 3.1% and 3% respectively other plastic objects and glass bottles (and pieces of glass bottles) the latter, like the construction material, new entry of the top ten of beached waste.

From 12 to 14 May 2023 the weekend of Clean Beaches and Seabeds returns throughout Italy, the historic Legambiente campaign dedicated to the monitoring and cleaning of abandoned waste along the coasts of our peninsula and which will see hundreds of volunteers and citizens of all ages in action. The motto of this 33rd edition will be ‘Those who love the beach treat it with kid gloves’. Also this year, the campaign will be carried out with the support of various partners: the new entry such as Emporio Armani (main partner), the confirmations, Sammontana and Biotherm (main partners), and, another new entry, Very Mobile (partner).

“Citizen science, network, civic engagement and active citizenship are the watchwords and success of our Clean Beaches and Seabed campaign – comments Giorgio Zampetti, general manager of Legambiente – A moment in which the synergy that from below tries to shake and sensitize all of us, to become aware of our incorrect and harmful habits for the environment, both local and national institutions so that they cooperate to apply common waste management and disposal policies, and companies and industries so that they are increasingly committed in adopting sustainable practices and actions. The data from the Beach Litter survey speak for themselves, the beach is still the main, undifferentiated waste bin of our activities”.