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  /  News and Events   /  Legambiente: “The marine litter remains a serious threat to the marine ecosystem and to the Mediterranean coasts.

Legambiente: “The marine litter remains a serious threat to the marine ecosystem and to the Mediterranean coasts.




To apply common waste management and disposal policies it is the first step to take for a cleaner and healthier sea”

Data from the Beach Litter 2023 survey: an average of 961 waste was surveyed for every 100 meters of beach,

of which the 72,5% is composed of plastic which is confirmed as the most found material.




The marine litter remains one of the great threats to be faced, and on which Legambiente with the Beach litter 2023 survey keeps the attention high by taking a clear picture of the waste emergency on the beaches. In particular, they are the 38 beaches monitored this year and related to 15 Regions (Liguria, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio, Marche, Abruzzo, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Molise, Calabria, Sicily, Sardinia). Out of a total of 232,800 m2 of sampled areathey have been counted 36,543 rejections, an average of 961 waste every 100 meters of beach. Imagine two lanes of an Olympic swimming pool completely filled with trash the 72,5% is composed of artificial polymers/plastics, which stand as always the most found material. But this year to make the picture worse are the waste of glass/ceramic (9.2% of the total), mostly composed of building material (tiles, bricks, tiles, etc.) disposed of irregularly on the beach. They follow the metal(6.8% of waste collected) and the paper and cardboard (3.9% of the total). The rest material harvest consists of textiles, treated wood, rubber, bioplastics, food waste and chemicals.


Citizen science, network, civic engagement e active citizenship are the watchwords and success of our campaign Beaches and Clean Seabeds – he comments Giorgio Zampetti general manager of Legambiente – A moment in which the synergy that from below tries to shake and sensitize both of us, to become aware of our incorrect and harmful habits for the environment, and the local and national institutions so that they cooperate to apply management policies and common waste disposal, both companies and industries to commit themselves more and more to adopting sustainable practices and actions. The data from the Beach Litter survey speak for themselves, the beach remains Still the main bin, undifferentiated, of our activities. This is why we invite everyone to participate in Clean Beaches and Seabeds, a unique opportunity to network among citizens in Italy and beyond our borders, for a cleaner and healthier Mediterranean".



About half of the total of these wastes monitored (the 52% of the total) is represented by sun 10 object types (out of the total 180 categories) with respect to which two elements emerge: on the one hand, entry into the top ten, directly to fourth place, of the building material with the 5.8%; on the other the decline of the disposable tableware category, this year at ninth place in the standings with 3% of the total


Returning to the standings, in first place are confirmed i plastic fragments (between 2.5cm and 50cm) with the 10,9% on the total; they follow caps and lids with 8.6% out of the total e cigarette butts with the 6%. To the fifth place, there are the plastic cotton swabs (4% of the total). With 3.9 % of the total we find i Styrofoam fragments (between 2.5 cm and 50 cm) and le beverage bottles and containers respectively on the sixth And seventh place of the ranking. They close the ranking, in eighth and tenth place, with the 3,1% and 3 % respectively other plastic items And glass bottles (and pieces of glass bottles) the latter, like the construction material, negative new entry in the top ten of beached waste.



Compared to the collected plastic waste, the 46% of the total consists of 10+1 items considered in SUP (Single Use Plastics), the European Directive which aims to reduce the use of disposable, non-biodegradable and non-compostable plastics, and which has been applied in Italy since January 2022.

Also this year plastic bottles, including caps and rings (15% of the total and 39% with respect to SUP objects only) are confirmed as the type of waste relating to the "SUP category" most found ever on the beaches sampled by Legambiente volunteers - well 5,487 times. They follow cigarette butts And the nets and fishing and aquaculture gear in plastic both 15% of the "SUP category".


With regards to the scope of plastic food containers, which they represent this year the 1% of the total found (6% of SUP objects), i plastic cups account for only 0.7% of the total collected and the 3% of the SUP objects. They also make up the food sector cutlery and dishes of plastic representing the1% of SUP objects.

They complete the ranking straws and cocktail stirrers (1% of total waste, 3% of SUP), le plastic bags (2% of the total, 3% of the SUP) the latter still present on Italian beaches despite the ban existing since 2013 in our country which has however allowed a reduction in the use of 55% bags and finally, the sanitary napkins And rubber balloons for which a clear labeling has been proposed, indicating their impact on the environment and the presence of plastic. In this case, the quantities found by Legambiente are smaller than the more present waste, but still considerable: the volunteers surveyed 58 sanitary napkinsAnd 103 rubber balloons.


Anyone can participate in the event by sharing their commitment to the sea on their own social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) using hashtags # beaches clean seabed


All appointments of clean beaches and seabeds


LINKS to the digital folder:


The press office of Legambiente 

Luisa Calderaro 349 6546593 – Ilenia De Simone 371 5962334 – Valeria Martorella 340 8104759



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