Residents of San Pedro Alcántara have criticised the state of the material used on the beaches. Josele
San Pedro residents see red after 'muddy' sand is used to top up its beaches for summer

San Pedro residents see red after 'muddy' sand is used to top up its beaches for summer

Locals say the material the town hall has used along its coastline is like 'clay or earth' and claim better quality sand has been used in nearby Marbella

María Albarral


Tuesday, 28 May 2024, 13:10

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Residents along the coastline of San Pedro Alcántara are complaining about the state of the beaches, saying many areas have been left "muddy".

Social media has been flooded with messages of surprise and rejection following the recent sand contributions made by Marbella town hall to the coastline. Many residents questioned by SUR criticised the sand "as if it were clay or mud". "They have not put that type of sand in the rest of Marbella," they claimed.

"This summer, if you get out of the sea a couple of times and lie down on your towel, you will have to throw it away because the sand sticks and becomes like putty in the water," a local resident told SUR.

The reddish colour of the soil, the texture and the humidity make it look different from the usual sand and has generated unease among the locals. "It looks like earth, not sand. That's more typical of an orchard than a beach," said Francisco García, a pensioner. "The sand is discoloured. You touch it and it leaves your hand red. It's a shame not only for us but also for tourism," added Cristina Fernández.

Memes and videos have started to circulate on social media, accompanied by criticisms of the type of sand. Many have pointed out this incident is an example of the difference between San Pedro Alcántara and Marbella, and that "not all residents are treated equally" and that "Marbella's beaches are given better sand".

Technical controls

Marbella town hall said "the sand, which comes from an area of the dune belt of the municipality in the Elvira area, has passed all the technical controls, as well as the chemical analysis in relation to the levels of lead and chromium, has an excellent texture and its granulometry is very good. The sand does not contain mud, it does not stain and, once the days go by, its colour will become lighter".

Spokesperson for Ecologists in Action Marbella (Ecologistas en Acción) Javier Martos said "people have an idyllic idea of what beach sand is, but the truth is that rivers and streams naturally carry soil, plants, pebbles and stones to the beach and, once there, the rising and setting winds wash and sediment it" to which he added that "there is no such thing as perfect sand".

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