BOTH the Balearics and the Canary Islands have emerged as having the best kept beaches in a European-wide survey.
Brewers “Coronita” is sponsoring a “Save the Beach” campaign researching the state of European beaches and yesterday presented the results of a poll conducted amongst 3'500 Europeans, 851 of them Spanish. Key results of the survey revealed that the Spanish coastline is the second best preserved in Europe after the French, and according to Europeans interviewed, it is the Balearic and Canary Islands which have the best kept beaches.

Extraordinarily therefore, one in 10 Spaniards will not be going to the beach this summer, due to what they see as coastal deterioration, opting instead for cultural tourism or mountain excursions. “Coronita'” research showed that Spaniards consider the worst threats to the beaches are tar and waste thrown into the sea (79%); non-biodegradable rubbish (61%); construction (61%); excessive coastal population (45%); and global warming (36%). However, 55 percent weren't worried by beach bars saying that even if they are breaking Coastal law, they contaminate much less than jellyfish and seaweed.

Ecologist Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of the late oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, who added her name to the report, said that “human indifference is the worst threat to our coastlines.” She added: “Each one of us can do something to improve the state of the beaches, simply by taking our rubbish away with us.” At the other end of the scale, European opinion was worst about Italian beaches “where cleaning is a burning topic” according to Cousteau. The study showed that Italians were considered to be the worst behaved on the beach, followed by the British. The Germans, French and Spanish were voted the best behaved although in the view of two out of three Spaniards taking part in the European-wide survey, there is still room for improvement for the “well-behaved” group.