In the last 20 months, cleaning campaigns have been carried out in Porto Santo Island, as part of the “Porto Santo Sem Lixo Marinho ” project, with the participation of about 561 volunteers, of which 352 were adults and 209 were children/youth.
The increasing amount of marine litter, especially plastic, in coastal areas and beaches requires regular cleaning. However, it is important not to forget about accumulation spots that, due to their difficult access, are not cleaned as often, namely the streams and the upper area of beaches.
In order to address this issue, the project stipulated 15 cleanup actions in coastal areas, beaches and streams, having been carried out 25, from October 2020 to May 2022, with the active involvement of the community and stakeholders, such as the Army (AM3), GNR, CPCJ, Porto Santo Parish Council, “Plant a Tree” Association, Vigilantes da Natureza, Wings of the Ocean, schools and companies.
In the cleaning campaigns, a total of 3163 kgs of human-originated waste was removed, of which 1440 kgs corresponded to plastic. During the actions all kinds of waste were collected, much of it unusual, such as electricity wires, cartridges, clothing, construction helmets, etc. The pandemic also had an impact on the environment, as 34 masks, 11 gloves and 1 disinfectant package were collected.
The project team considers it important to continue implementing the “Porto Santo Sem Lixo Marinho” label and to raise awareness and involve the community in reducing the pollution that results from the use of disposable plastic.
In the “Community Preliminary Assessment Study of the Current State of Marine Waste in Porto Santo”, conducted as part of the project in 2021, two recommendations are made around marine waste: strengthen and ensure regular monitoring and sampling of beach litter and implement remote sensing marine litter monitoring.
The “Porto Santo Sem Lixo Marinho” project contributed to the achievement of the following Sustainable Development Goals: “Climate Action”, “Protect Marine Life”, “Sustainable Production and Consumption”, and “Sustainable Cities and Communities”.
The “Porto Santo Sem Lixo Marinho” (Porto Santo Without Marine Waste) project is co-financed by the Environment Program of the EEA Grants and promoted by Associação Natureza Portugal, in partnership with WWF Portugal, AIDGLOBAL, ARM – Água e Resíduos da Madeira, S.A., the Municipality of Porto Santo and the MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre in Madeira, hosted by ARDITI. It also has the support of WWF Norway and the Secretariat for Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change of the Regional Government of Madeira.