Staff Reporter

PALMA
THE 13 teams, each of 52 workers, who took part in the winter campaign to clean the beaches, collected 39'681 kilos of rubbish, according to the Balearic Minister for the Environment, Jaume Font.

Font explained to a press conference that December was the first month of the initiative to clean the beaches during the winter months.
He said that the Balearic Ministries of the Environment and Tourism were doing this as a joint effort. The Ministry for Tourism supplied the 487'000 euros for this initiative, which adds to the 3.5 million spent on this during the summer months. The Ministry for the Environment supplied the teams of workers.

Also collaborating in this campaign is the Foundation for Sustainable Development in the Balearic Islands, which is responsible for making the population aware of the importance of keeping the beaches clean.

The Minister specified that on Majorca seven teams collected 24'784 kilos of rubbish.
Of this amount, 10'269 kilos were wood, 6'656 kilos were plastic and glass containers, and the rest was other rubbish.
The four beach cleaning teams on Ibiza and Formentera collected 9'215 kilos of rubbish in Ibiza and 1'374 in Formentera.
On Minorca, two teams collected 4'305 kilos of rubbish from the beaches.
Font explained that these collections were carried out on 226 of the 316 beaches in the Balearics, as it is impossible to access some of the beaches with the cleaning vehicles.

Out of the 112.5 kilometres total beaches on the islands, an area of 97 kilometres has been cleaned.
Font said that the areas where most rubbish had been collected, such as Palma, Campos and Muro, are those where the most kilometres of beach had been cleaned, as the volume of rubbish collected is related to the accessibility of the beaches.

The Minister added that the Balearic Government developed this initiative in response to the public petitions made by various citizens, even though it is not strictly their responsibility to do it.

It is the councils who are responsible for cleaning the beaches and the Central Government is responsible for the sea.
He said that the Balearic Government will extend the Beach Quality Plan's winter campaign until April, the month in which the councils once again take over responsibility for cleaning the beaches during the Summer tourist season. He added that the Balearic Government is producing an audit of the state of the beaches, in order to make recommendations to the councils at the end of this campaign.

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