“KEEP BEACHES clean all summer” is the message being promoted in a new awareness campaign recently launched by the Algarve branch of consumer protection organisation, DECO, in conjunction with Faro Câmara and the Centro Azul (environmental defence centre) based at Faro Beach.
In total, 32 local schoolchildren were present at the official launch of the project, taking part in a series of activities and games related to the separation of different types of refuse, the reduction of rubbish, reutilisation and recycling.
The aim of this campaign is to alert beachgoers to the importance of disposing rubbish responsibly and the negative effects of leaving refuse on the beach. The location of rubbish bins, provided by the council, are being pointed out to the public, as well as the average amount of time it takes for various items to biodegrade, should they be carelessly discarded on the beach. To this effect, six information boards have been placed at the entrances to the borough’s beaches (two at Ilha de Faro, two at Ilha do Farol, one at Ilha da Barreta and another at Ilha da Culatra). Printed on these boards are pictures of typical items often left on beaches and the average time it takes for them to biodegrade. For example, a cigarette butt will take 10 years, a drinks can 200 years, a plastic bottle 200 to 450 years and a glass bottle 4,000 years.
The placards also include information about the fines that are applicable in cases where rubbish is dropped; penalties range from 55 to 550 euros.