We all love the beaches of Mallorca, Punta Cana or Bali, where we find crystal clear waters and white sands, to enjoy our vacations. Despite this, we continue to rely heavily on fossil fuels, the extraction and storage of which poses significant environmental risks, combined with our overuse of plastic objects, often ending up in the oceans after disposal.This same year, marked by the decline in the number of international tourists in much of the world and the rise of local tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the south and east coasts of England have suffered the impact of this change. Many holiday towns like Great Yarmouth have seen their beautiful seascape littered with garbage after heaving beach days.
The oceans represent more than 90% of the biosphere, are essential to preserve life on Earth and also constitute a huge source of food and of economic sustenance for coastal communities around the world. As human activity has intensified over the centuries and industry has boomed, rivers have been seen as simple and convenient means to dispose of waste of all kinds. In this way, discharges of sewage, textile dyes, and heavy metals, such as mercury, have ended up in the sea.In recent decades, efforts have been made to reverse this process in many countries, using water treatment plants in cities, launching public waste awareness campaigns, and developing environmental protocols for factories, as well as specific legislation to favour greener practices.