Thousands of volunteers took up fight against ‘litter’ in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
litter clearance

More than 17,000 volunteers from all over Spain committed themselves ‘against litter’ this Saturday, in a campaign promoted by the organisations SEO/BirdLife and Ecoembes to mark World Environment Day, which will be celebrated tomorrow, Monday, 5 June. 

It was the seventh year in a row that the ‘1 m² against litter’ campaign took place. The initiative by SEO/BirdLife and Ecoembes aims to raise awareness about the problem of litter in nature. It endangers the environment and biodiversity by increasing the risk of fire. Moreover, waste pollutes soil and water. 

Sites of great ecological value too 

In 970 places throughout Spain, volunteers cleaned up litter. The action was coordinated by municipal councils, educational centres and other local entities. Clean-up was also carried out in locations of great ecological value, such as the Lake Sanabria Nature Park and the Segundera and Porto mountain ranges (Zamora), Sierra Helada and Faro (Alicante), Lagunas de Ruidera (Albacete, Ciudad Real) and the Doñana nature reserve (Huelva, Seville and Cadiz). 

A ‘great social cry’ for a ‘healthy planet’ 

‘We must count on nature to guarantee a healthy, safe and resilient planet that allows us to cope with the ecological crisis we are experiencing,’ said Asunción Ruiz, director of SEO/BirdLife. She described the action as ‘a great social cry’ and called for a change in ‘the model of production and consumption to reduce our impact from the source’. 

The CEO of Ecoembes, Rosa Trigo, appreciated the fact that year after year thousands of people show ‘that the fight against litter is a great social movement’ of people who ‘want to act locally, find solutions and have a positive impact on our environment’. Both thanked the volunteers for their courage. 

Former national coach Vicente del Bosque led one of the clean-up brigades in Madrid and underlined the involvement of the sports world, which also has ‘a responsibility towards the natural environment’. Other organisations, such as the Red Cross in A Coruña, also took action. 

Also read: Plogging popular in Spanish nature reserve

Various activities for World Environment Day 

World Environment Day led to other activities in many Spanish cities. The government of Navarra, for example, organised a programme throughout the weekend for the Señorío de Bértiz nature park to teach visitors more about the situation and challenges of the Bidasoa river. Also in Santander, a campaign was organised under the slogan ‘Without plastic pollution’ where several environmental educators answered questions from the public in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. In the capital of Cantabria, the circular economy was discussed and residents could participate in workshops on recycling plastic by hand. 

Also read: Spanish nature freed from almost 2.5 tons of rubbish

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