‘The sea starts here’, an awareness campaign on everyday habits

Where does the sea start? At the grates in the gutters. Lots of small waste find its way through the holes in grates and ends up in the sea, with all manner of harmful effects for marine fauna and flora. As part of the European Week for Waste Reduction 2020, the campaign ‘The sea starts here’ aims to alert people to this problem.

20/11/2020 17:05 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

Some grates in the city will have information plaques with a very clear message: ‘The sea starts here. Don’t throw anything down here’.

The boats used for clearing waste floating along the Barcelona coastline collected a total of 20 cubic metres of rubbish during the bathing season in 2020. All sorts of waste was found in the sea, including glass, cans, plastic, wood, oil and grease. A total of 381,640 kilos of waste was also removed from the sand at the beaches, some 65,000 kilos more than last year.

The figures are very worrying, meaning it’s important to reflect: the sea doesn’t start at the shore, but well before that. And it’s in our hands to avoid making it dirty. This is the main idea behind the campaign ‘The sea starts here’, which will also involve information staff next to drainage grates and an educational activity for schools so that children can learn about marine fauna and understand the impact our routines have on sea conservation. You can download the materials here.

The campaign is part of the European Week for Waste Reduction 2020, which runs from 21 to 29 November.

Waste analysis

During the European Week for Waste Reduction 2020, besides waste that ends up in the sea, the goal is also to focus on the need to keep working towards zero waste. In other words, not generating waste and preventing and separating the waste we produce.

What waste can we find inside a bag of rubbish? Is it all waste we can’t recycle or reuse? Carlota Bruna, Ada Parellada and Francesc Mauri carried out an analysis of a bag of rubbish to invite reflection on the need and the urgency we have as a society to generate less waste and to be able to turn our waste into resources. You can see the video on the website for the European Week for Waste Reduction from Thursday 26 November.

In the meantime, the ad offers a taster.

A week of activities for reflection

The European Week for Waste Reduction is an international initiative, the main goal of which is to raise public awareness on waste prevention and to foster sustainable action to cut waste in all parts of Europe. This year’s topic is invisible waste.