On Sunday the 27th August the whole team headed to Mala Plaža, Ulcinj. The aim of the day was to spread awareness on the effects of litter on the local dolphin population and encourage beach goers to take responsibility of their own rubbish.
The day started with a small group of us heading down to save a space on the beach for our event. As usual small beach was packed with tourists already enjoying the morning sun. As the day past, we lay more towels down, spreading out our camp. As four o’clock came we were joined by more of our volunteer team bringing with them our handmade signs and rubbish bags. Immediately, we started to beach clean, largely collecting plastics. By now our presence with the signs and Montenegro Dolphin t-shirts had drawn a crowd for small children who were eager to join in. The plastic bottles we had collected were used to create a large plastic dolphin which was visible from the pavement.
Many took an interest in our event and asked questions about our work. We were able to explain and encourage lots of people to think about their impact on the environment. It was inspiring to see many children and families getting involved with both the building of the dolphin and the beach cleaning.
Most of the beaches here have people who are paid to do a beach clean at the end of the day, this has allowed beach-goers to become complacent with their litter, burying it in the sand or tossing it aside. Despite the beach cleaners’ best efforts, it does not stop the litter washing into the sea during the day. Plastic and other marine litter have a colossal impact which effects the majority of sea life all over the world, this includes our beloved dolphins. Our reliance on single use plastics and throw away products is only adding to the current problem.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, there are plenty of ways you can help not only your local area but the globe! Sounds daunting but there’s four easy steps everyone is cable of doing.
1. RE-USE! Take that extra bag to the shop with you, refill your water bottle.
2. Refuse single use plastics. Do you really need to drink out of a straw? Or plastic cup?
3. Pick up rubbish. A simple 2-minute beach clean and if you don’t fancy cleaning other people’s rubbish at least grab your own!
4. Encourage your friends and family to do the same, together we can protect our oceans!