Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sunday beach clean-up

Sick of all the rubbish on the beach? Then get off your arse and do something about it!

Today, Yuri, Timur and I joined thirty or so volunteers for a beach clean-up organised by Clean Ocean Project. We met at 11 am on Punta Elena (Rocky Point), to the left from the Bahia Real hotel. There was a Clean Ocean Project flag and a truck, so it was difficult to miss the meeting point. Armed with the rubber gloves and refuse bags, we started to move slowly towards the Corralejo harbour.

While collecting the glass, plastic, ropes, nets, cigarette butts, paper, broken tiles, rotting food — in short, toda la porquería — some very uncharitable thoughts were entering my mind. On the subject of disposal of this rubbish. I am not going to share them here though. On the other hand, it was a pleasure to work side by side with all these wonderful people, most of them younger than me. (My own children included.) Ah yes. Where they are?

“Hang on, we are not going to clean every single beach here?”
“Yes we are.”
We finished just after 12:30 pm close to Galera Beach; the same truck was there waiting there for us and our bags of rubbish. Then we went to Muelle Chico to take part in Marea Blanca — a human chain across the beach, the action of protest against the oil prospecting off the Canary Islands.

A couple of observations, or (digitised) mental notes for the future clean-ups. Although the refuse bags were provided, next time I will bring several shopper bags with me. It was rather windy this morning, and kids were struggling with big black bin liners: until a bit filled with rubbish, they were trying to escape. Besides, even the heavy duty bags can be ripped by glass shards, so it’s good to have back-up. Ditto the disposable gloves: by the end of the operation, they were falling apart. A time to invest in garden gloves methinks.

“Dad, are we really going to clean all the island?”
“Not today, I’m afraid.”
(A sigh of relief.)
But eventually we will clean it all. I hope.

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