by Staff Reporter
THE 37 boats used by the Balearic environment ministry to keep the coasts clean picked up 75'894 kilos of rubbish last month, 18'655 kilos more than in June.

This was revealed yesterday by environment minister Jaume Font, who added that three new boats had been brought into service in July to tackle the problem.

Font presented a summary of the work carried out under the plan for quality in sea water covering the period July 1 to 31.
He said that plastics accounted for 75 percent of the rubbish collected last month, compared to 64 percent of the total in June.
The amount of driftwood went up by one percent to 13 percent.
The balance was made up of oils, seaweed, organic matter and other rubbish.
Nearly 49'000 kilos of rubbish were picked up from the Majorcan coasts, the municipalities of Palma, Pollensa, Manacor and Santanyi being the worst.
In Minorca, 11'912 kilos of rubbish was collected, particularly from Es Mercadal, Ciutadella, Mahon and Sant Lluis.
Santa Eularia, Sant Josep and Sant Antoni were the worst spots in Ibiza where 10'181 kilos of rubbish was collected, while Formentera provided 5'057 kilos.

The ministry's cleaning service also monitored 12 situations involving a danger to shipping. They included a warning about a log which was endangering boats in Cala Macarella and a collision in the Bay of Pollensa, while it cleaned up Cala Sa Nao at the request of the Manacor council.

Its observation plane sent 130 warnings of concentrations of rubbish to the control centre, 70 percent of them in Majorca, 20 percent in Ibiza-Formentera and ten percent in Minorca.

Font said that most of the plastic which was picked up comes from the Balearics, the east coast of Spain and North Africa. “Our coasts are cleaner than those of other parts of the Mediterranean, and this summer the quality of water is much better than last summer,” Font said yesterday.

The quality plan is operated in collaboration with the tourism ministry and has a budget of 3.8 million euros. “The results for July show that the money invested in the plan is effective,” Font said.

Next year, the plan will include awareness campaigns.

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