Conservation through Action: Krajlevska Plaza Beach Clean!

On Saturday the 16th November volunteers from MDR and the local community set out to clean Krajlevska Plaza.  Accompanied by students from Meksiko School, who came along to support our efforts and get involved following MDR presentations in their ecology classes earlier this month (read about it here!), the team was able to collect 9 large bags of rubbish in just two hours. Intern Phoebe Thorpe writes…

On Saturday the 16th volunteers from Montenegro Dolphin Reserach and from the local community cleaned Krajlevska Plaza. A a total of twenty two volunteers worked hard, had fun and managed to collect nine large bags of rubbish in only two hours! Everyone’s effort was represented in the result – a cleaner beach and a safer environement for cetaceans.

The aim of our beach cleans is to reduce the waste on the beaches here in Bar. We also want to know what type of waste is ending up on the beach in order to set targeted actions to reduce and solve the issue of bad waste management. Even though we are not a waste management NGO it is important to us and many of our volunteers to reduce and tackle the problem of sea pollution. This is because an unhealthy sea means unhealthy dolphins! 

To help us figure out the type of waste we collected and make sure that our efforts were meaningful, we decided to adopt a protocol developed by the Break Free From Plastic movement. We used data sheets to enter the type of material, amount and,. if identifiable, the brand of each item that we collected. Break Free From Plastic then takes this data and breaks down the results into sections and graphs of the different types of waste found, allowing them to identify which industries and companies need to take more responsibility for the waste they create. 
In the 9 industrial sized bin bags we filled, with a volume of 200L each, we identified 1755 individual items of litter taken from a 300m stretch of beach. Of this, a massive 75% was made up of food packaging and smoking materials alone.
Analysis of waste according to product type (graph by Franscesca Soster)

Once the material was sorted and recorded we took the recyclable plastic and aluminium to a recycling unit at Donja Gorica, close to Podgorica, in the hopes that this waste won’t make it’s way back into Montenegro’s seas. It was rewarding for all of the MDR team to have the local community joining us and to see the enthusiasm surrounding the project. We intend to have a beach clean at least once a month, and hope to see the local community feeling welcome to get involved! Together we can heighten awareness of pollution and unnecessary waster, and create a more effective system for future generations in Montenegro!

A happy team with a cleaner beach! (Photo by Eva Lambert)
Collecting rubbish from the rocks
Plastic bottles are big culprits and easy to avoid
Members of Bar's local community
Undiscovered Montenegro came from Lake Skadar to get involved too!
Intern Franscesca briefing volunteers
Students from Meksiko School
A chance for a short marine biology lesson!
Volunteers Rosi, Grant and Natasa analysing waster

To read more about Montenegro Dolphin Research please have a look through our blog! News and updates about future beach cleans will be featured on our facebook page or, if you’d like to get in touch with us to arrange a community or school presentation please drop us an email at [email protected].