Cyprus Mail

Beach clean-up ends with birth of turtles

235 plastic bottles and 128 cans were among the rubbish collected on one day in August by volunteers on the beaches of Lara and Yeronissos in Paphos.

Twenty divers and more than 50 volunteers cleaned up both the beach and the sea bed, with members of the Young Cyprus Greens (NE.OI), and the Emergency Rescue Unit (ETEA) taking part on August 23.

Turtle nests are found in the area and the rubbish left behind by illegal parties and events puts the area’s ecosystem in danger, NE.OI said.

“The fishing nets and lines that reach the sea, and on which fish and turtles can choke, stirred concerns,” NE.OI added, saying volunteers gathered numerous small plastic objects which can cause the death of the protected Caretta-Caretta (loggerhead) and green sea turtles.

“This round of cleaning activities ended in the best possible way; at the end of the clean-up at the protected beach of Lara, […] we had the opportunity to witness the hatching of circa 20 turtles,” said general secretary of NE.OI, Alexia Sakadaki.

The garbage collected was separated, weighed and recorded. Volunteers collected, among others, 235 plastic bottles, 307 plastic cups, 49 fishing nets and equipment, 44 lighters, 389 small plastic pieces, 128 cans. Plastic bags, cigarette butts, food wrappers, pieces of foam material, glass bottles and pieces of broken glass were also found and collected.

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