Danish municipality spends millions on removing plastic – dumps it in the sea again – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries
A video shows a tractor driving out into the water on the beach, dumping plastic and seaweed into the sea, according to Denmark’s radio.
Twice a week in the summer, the beach in Slagelse municipality is cleared to ensure that bathers have a clean beach to swim at.
Although the beach looks clean and tidy, all the waste that is picked up is dumped a few meters from the beach edge.
– Completely idiotic
– It’s completely idiotic because it’s coming back again. It may be transported a little further down the beach, but the seaweed will come ashore again, says Torkel Gissel, professor at the Department of Aquatic Resources Aqua (DTU).
Local cottage owners also react to what the municipality does.
– The problem is that what is dumped is also filled with everything else that is found on the beach. Cigarettes, capsules, ice paper, Trine Winther lists.
– I do not think people think about what it does to nature, says Anne Gyldenvang.
Both say that what is dumped in the sea shortly after ends up back on the beach.
– There is no common sense in the way you do it, says Gyldenvang.
The municipality looks at southern beaches
While other Danish municipalities solve similar problems by driving away seaweed waste, and use the seaweed for agriculture, Slagelse municipality chooses a more short-term solution.
The idea they got from southern areas, according to the municipality.
– We all know how it goes in Mallorca and Gran Canaria, people walk around and clean the beaches. It is a bit of a role model, because when you come here, the beach must be just as clean and pretty, says the deputy mayor of Slagelse Municipality, Villum Christensen.
Christensen is also head of the Business and Technology Committee in the municipality, which is responsible for beach cleaning.
And he does not further agree with the criticism.
– We do not drive plastic into the water as such. So I do not buy it completely. We collect the seaweed, remove the largest parts, and then drive the seaweed into the water.
He is not particularly worried about cigarette butts and plastic ending up in the water.
– It will be there anyway. The water comes and collects things and seaweed, which drift out into the sea again.
– Well as you allocate a million for beach cleaning a year, would not it be an idea to do it in the most environmentally friendly way?
– Yes. We have also evaluated these things, and we think it is a balance between how much and how little to do, says Christensen.