STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
THE amount of litter and scrap material collected from the beaches and coastlines of the Balearic Islands last July proved to be an encouraging 78.68 percent less than for the same period in 2007.

A regional Environment Ministry report released yesterday confirmed that a volume of 55'925 kilos was gathered in July this year, whilst last year during the same month which witnessed the sinking of the fuel tanker Don Pedro off the pristine beaches of Ibiza, 262'279 kilos were amassed.

Analysed by individual islands however, the rubbish collected from the shoreline of Majorca actually went up by 6.7 percent in July in respect of the same month last year. Whilst 36'513 kilos was retrieved from Majorca during July 2007, the figure rose to 39'120 kilos in the same month this year.

The vast majority of waste material is collected from the coastal waters as opposed to the beaches. The “Pelicans” which are the boats specially designed for netting flotsam and jetsam close to the shoreline were responsible for cleaning up 28'042 whilst the rubbish sifter vessels operating on the beaches, claimed 11'078 kilos. Every day, an average of 1'304 kilos of rubbish was picked up from the coastline and beaches of Majorca. In terms of just what it is that gets thrown irresponsibly away in such vast quantities, plastic made up 40 percent of the total - 15'810 kilos of it. The next largest item is wood (11'525 kilos or 29.46 percent.) Surprisingly, 4'020 kilos of algae were scooped up from coastal waters and beach edges, 3'300 kilos of organic matter, 255 kilos of oil and 4'210 kilos of miscellanous items.

Authorities on Minorca reported having dredged 9'455 kilos of waste material from the shores of the island, a 6.7 percent drop on figures for 2007. But it was on Ibiza where the most extreme difference was noted - 97.72 percent less this July than last. It was that month in 2007 when the fuel tanker Don Pedro sank in Ibizan waters leading to a clean up which totalled 211'597 kilos for July only. This year the July figure ran to no more than 5'475 kilos.

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