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A beach bar at one of Sitges’ beaches, ground-breaking in the disposal of single-use plastic

Sitges has the first beach bar to do away with all of its single-use plastic. Its latest action was to opt of reusable cups. This action is added to the progressive removal of plastics from all of Sitges’ beaches, which have started to use straws this year.

The beach bar at Grills de Sitges beach has carried out the latest action to eliminate single-use plastic. This week they joined the awareness campaign 'United for the Sea', encouraged by the Pure Clean Earth association for the purpose of promoting the use of reusable cups. The beach bar bought 2,500 reusable cups to avoid a large amount of waste and thus avoided the usage of 800 single-use plastic cups in a single day.

Users can recycle the cup in exchange for a deposit of 1 euro that will be returned when they are leaving the beach. Once the glasses are returned, the beach bar washes them and puts them back into operation.

For now, this is the first beach bar to subscribe to this initiative promoted by the environmental organization Pure Clean Earth that is committed to recycling and encourages a change of habits through the reduction of the use of disposable plastics. Presently, the association is maintaining conversations with other Sitges beach bars to be able to extend the awareness campaign to other beaches.

 

Part of the funds obtained from the sale of reusable cups that users do not return to the beach bar will go to the Pure Clean Earth association to promote environmental awareness and educational events.

 

According to Pure Clean Earth, the reusable cup is the symbol of change, of the struggle for the well-being of beaches, oceans and the planet. Despite being just a start, it represents a great step that promotes recycling and change. If a person uses the same glass throughout the summer, he or she will be saving on between 40 and 70 single-use cups. The goal of the Pure Clean Earth Association is to sell 20,000 glasses this summer, as this would mean that approximately 400,000 disposable cups would no longer be used during the season.

For the association, the problem about using plastic is the fact that it has become a disposable, single-use material. If it is recycled properly, a single plastic cup could be passed on from generation to generation for around 500 years and this would cease to be a problem and citizens would become the solution.

At the same time, the Town Hall’s Department of Urban Services - following the work plan of the Biosphere Certification that recognizes the city as a sustainable and responsible tourism destination - has expanded the framework of actions this year on the beaches with the collection of plastics. New this 2019, Sitges’ beaches have replaced plastic straws with paper straws. Altogether, it is estimated that the use of more than 60,000 plastic straws will be discontinued.

 

Sustainable Beaches

The Department of Tourism and Environment are rereleasing the RESitges campaign that was launched last summer to encourage guidelines of respect for the environment.

Within the framework of the summer cleaning presence, this year the Town Council has begun the selective collection of plastics in all of Sitges’ beaches.

Presently, Sitges’ beaches have ISO 14.001 certifications for environmental management, which implies a reduction of raw material, a reduction in energy consumption, waste and management costs. They also have Emma (European Management Audit System) from the EU that guarantees the excellence of environmental management.

In addition, they are subscribed to the Biosphere commitment. An honor that compels beaches to work according to the standards set by the certification and review them annually through an auditing process. The Department of Tourism is working on, and coordinating with other entities such as the Diputación de Barcelona, the process for companies to observe this commitment and become certified.

 

Pure Clean Earth

The Pure Clean Earth association promotes a cleaning of Sitges’ beaches every Saturday. From the association, all citizens are encouraged to participate in these environmental awareness actions. The organization assures that during the cleaning on the town’s beaches, between 50 and 100 cups are found in an hour. For this reason, they are committed to curbing the consumption of plastic given that their breakdown is very slow and poses a serious environmental problem. It is estimated that plastic cups begin to decompose in between 65 and 75 years. In addition, plastic pollution also has an impact on the sea with plastic particles. These micro-particles do not break down and are ingested by marine animals that people then eat.

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