While there is much to celebrate across the world in terms of a variety of positive developments such as increasing levels of peace, rising standards of living and many other great things, there is also a huge international problem that needs solving as quickly as possible. This is the massive threat to the environment caused by man-made pollution.

Global temperatures are rising, species are facing extinction and the planet is being pushed towards the brink of becoming uninhabitable for future generations. Hopefully, the situation will never get to that stage, but in order to prevent further environmental destruction which will affect animals, plants and human life, as a global community we all need to pull together to make fundamental changes to the way we live, especially in the  Western world.

Luckily there seems to be a growing global consciousness and compassion, especially among younger generations, who realise that things need to change, leading to many people coming together to make a difference. Governments and businesses are also starting to notice and take action, often in reaction to the will of the general public.

Unfortunately, the ocean has been treated for many decades as a dumping ground for various forms of rubbish as well as chemical waste by many individuals, businesses and even governments, because for some bizarre reason it was believed this would never cause a significant threat. Huge amounts of rubbish left along coastlines also ends up in the ocean or ruins beaches. 

Now of course, the world is starting to wake up to the problem and measures are being put into place to stop rubbish being dumped into the world’s oceans, and also clean up the vast quantities already there. Scientists have issued stark warnings, such as that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish!

The problem is now impossible to ignore, as there is literally rubbish and pollution filling up the waters along coastlines and beaches across the world. This is also, sadly the case here in Tenerife, with many of the beaches blighted by a variety of different types of rubbish such as food packaging, drinks bottles, fishing nets, pieces of glass and metal, toys, clothing and cigarette butts.

The beaches of Tenerife and the Canary Islands are beautiful and it is such a huge shame to see so many of them filled with trash. Much of this has been washed up on the shorelines from other places, while a lot of it has been dropped by careless individuals either on holiday, or even worse, the locals themselves.

On 15th September 2018, Ileana Irene Rusconi the founder of Trashing Force coastal cleanup group helped to organise a very successful beach cleanup to coincide with The International Coastal Cleanup, an important yearly event. Since the first cleanup more than 30 years ago, this movement has grown significantly with volunteers coming together across the world in more than 100 countries.

In Tenerife, thanks to the help of Ileana and Trashing Force, in conjunction with Canary Green and sponsored by Jardin Tropical, a sizeable group of volunteers including those from Trashing Force, Canary Green, Jardin Tropical, Second Home Tenerife, Pearly Grey Resort and more helped to clean up Las Galletas beach.

This was a fantastic effort with lots of trash picked up, collected in bags and taken away. Of course, all of the volunteers understand that beach clean ups are not the solution to the larger problem of waste in the oceans and along the coast, but these events certainly make a difference. One benefit is that they get a certain amount of rubbish off the beach, thus making it a more pleasant, safer and attractive environment for people, plus it becomes safer for wildlife.

On top of this, and no less significantly, these beach clean ups raise awareness on the problem and that we need to adapt our lifestyles otherwise we will have an uninhabitable world filled with trash and no more unspoiled natural beauty. Hopefully we can teach the next generations to care for the planet a lot more than the previous ones have done! 

Many thanks to Ileana and Trashing Force for organising this event, to Jardin Tropical for sponsoring it, and to all the volunteers who took the time to do such a fantastic job! 

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Photos and Videos taken and edited by the Canary PR team:

John Beckley – Video

Kate Michelle Conti and Petra Kavsek – Photography