Volunteers on the Costa del Sol are invited to take part in global Coastal Cleanup Day

A previous Playa Patrol beach clean up.
A previous Playa Patrol beach clean up. / ANN JENKINS
  • Beaches from Estepona to Motril will be blitzed by teams of people collecting plastics and other rubbish over the weekend

Organisations and individuals along the Costa del Sol and Costa Tropical will be doing their bit this weekend to participate in International Coastal Cleanup Day, which is held annually on 22 September.

Beaches from Estepona to Motril will see volunteers picking up rubbish and learning about why it's so important to keep our coast free from plastic and other waste.

On Saturday 21 September, a group will be organising cleanups on the Misericordia and La Caleta beaches in Malaga from 10am, while in Estepona volunteers are invited to meet at Laguna Village large car park at 9.45am. Hessian bags will be provided to put rubbish in and children will be given a certificate for their participation. For more details of the event see the Facebook page: Beach Cleanup Estepona.

Volunteers are invited to share a paella lunch after the Calaceite beach and sea clean up on Sunday 22 September in Torrox. The event will start at 9.30am. For further information visit

Playa Patrol, which was founded by Ann Jenkins in 2018, is running four beach cleanups along the Costa Tropical: Motril, Salobreña, Almuñécar and La Herradura on Sunday 22 September.

Volunteers are invited to go to Playa La Herradura and Marina Playa (La Herradura), Playa Puerta del Mar (Almuñécar), Playa de la Charca (Salobreña) and Playa Poniente (Motril) to help out.

The Costa Tropical beach cleanups run from 10am until 11.30am and will be followed by food and drink along with a group photo until 1pm. Ann Jenkins says that it is "mandatory to register online" at in order to receive complimentary drink and snack tickets as well as be assigned a clean up zone.

In addition to the beach clean ups, Malaga city hall is also carrying out a clean up of the Comandante Benítez park area of Malaga, near the Plaza Mayor shopping centre and Parador de Golf, in partnership with the city's paper recycling plant run by SmurfitKappa.

A team of volunteers will be clearing rubbish on Saturday, which the city hall says has accumulated due to illegal dumping. SmurfitKappa Manager, Alberto Ruíz, said "With the environmental threat it is more necessary than ever to make small, local gestures, to leave an environmental legacy for future generations and try to slow down the effects of climate change."

Cleanup day origins

According to the US based Ocean Conservancy organisation, the International Coastal Cleanup began more than 30 years ago, when communities started to work together to clean up their local coastal areas. Linda Maraniss had been working for Ocean Conservancy and was inspired by a report her Ocean Conservancy colleague, Kathy O'Hara, was writing called Plastics in the Ocean: More than a Litter Problem, which went on to be published in 1987. The event has become internationally recognised in recent years as the importance of keeping coastal areas and oceans clean has hit the headlines, with images of sea animals killed by swallowing or becoming caught up in plastic and the enormous plastic islands which have formed in the planet's oceans.