Costa del Sol beach clean operation

Craig Webb collects rubbish during one of the group's clean-ups.
Craig Webb collects rubbish during one of the group's clean-ups. / SUR
  • Plastic waste is being removed from the Costa del Sol's beaches each month by a team of volunteers

Scores of volunteers helped remove plastic waste from a Costa del Sol beach last Saturday.

The event saw a mixed group of nationalities spend hours picking up everything from ice cream wrappers and plastic bottles, to plastic bags and general rubbish.

Organised by Marbella-based expat Craig Webb, the group descended on Los Boliches in Fuengirola for their latest monthly event.

The fourth beach clean-up saw around 25 volunteers from the group Plastic Free Seas Worldwide don gloves for the beach clean.

Craig, 38, an investment manager who lives in Marbella, told SUR in English that he started picking up plastic on his own while at the beach a few months ago.

“A couple of people started joining me and then it just went from there really,” he said.

“So I started organising monthly events and we've had up to 50 people at a time helping out. The last event in May saw us remove 81 kg of plastic from a local beach.

“I got the idea from David Attenborough as I'm a huge fan of his. I watched a documentary where he exclaimed the concerns with plastic in the seas; it made me want to help educate others and do good.

“You feel like you really make a difference.”

Craig said bags and high visibility vests are supplied by organisers, and that all people wishing to take part need to do is bring a pair of gloves.

He explained: “We only had 25 people join us on our last clean-up, which was due to people having plans to watch the royal wedding.

“Los Boliches was very clean so we won't be going back there again. Generally the Blue Flag beaches are very clean. So it's nothing against the cleaners. We tend to focus on where the machines can't reach, such as in between the rocks.

“We organise one event a month to keep interest going. People bring their children and their dogs, and it's turned out to be quite a social event and a great way to meet people.”

The dad of two, who is originally from Bournemouth in the UK and moved to Marbella permanently three years ago, added that the group is growing and now boasts a newsletter, Facebook group, t-shirts and their own eco-bags.

The next beach clean is on 16 June at Doña Lola in Calahonda and starts at 9am.