by Staff Reporter
THE 37 boats which collect rubbbish from the sea around the Balearics netted a total of 231.3 tons between June 1, when the project was launched, and September 30.

This was revealed yesterday by Jaume Font, the Balearic environment minister, who was accompanied by tourism chief Joan Flaquer.
Both ministries have invested four million euros in the project, launched to improve the quality of the beaches and the water.
Font said that nearly 72 percent of the rubbish was plastic, mainly bottles and bags, which had probably been in the sea for several years. Twelve percent was wood such as tree trunks or planks and eight percent was organic (dead animals, including a cow; jellyfish or remains of food).

The rest was made up of seaweed, oils, including diesel and tar, and objects such as chairs, surfboards, tyres or shoes.
As to special services, Font said that the boats also helped in the rescue of two swimmers and in two fires on boats.
The boats are backed up by a plane which flies over the coast each morning to detect the rubbish. Twelve of the boats work between one and four miles from the shore and 21 others nearer to the coast.

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